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Sunday, 16 December



Yet another apartment going up in the neighbourhood. The bricks you seek are behind the hoarding...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.


A Gray-card memorial Top 5 matthew schiavello: photos and words


In memory of Gray-Cards Year End Top 5 Photo Extravaganza!

1. Make a SINGLE post of your Top 5 photos on YOUR tumblr.

One post of 5 photos on your tumblr. 

2. Submit the link to that post (permalink) to us via our SUBMIT.

3. Submission starts 12/23    

4. Submission ends at 6pm EST on 12/31.

5. One Top 5 per original content tumblr please.

Top 5 postings begin at midnight (EST) on New Years Eve and run for 24 hours.

All submissions with a working link will be posted.

Everyone is welcome; all skill levels are welcome and encouraged.

You do not need to be following us.

You do not need to tag us.

Do not forget to promo yourself, your shops and blogs.  

Drop us a note if you have questions!

Thanks for a great year tumblr photographers!

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Saturday, 15 December



The eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) is an east Australian species of snake-necked turtle that inhabits a wide variety of water bodies and is an opportunistic feeder. It is a side-necked turtle (Pleurodire), meaning that it bends its head sideways into its shell rather than pulling it directly back. This specimen sighted in the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne. A close-up of the head shows off the resemblance to a snake!

The species is found throughout south eastern Australia where it is found west of Adelaide (South Australia) eastwards throughout Victoria and New South Wales, and northwards to the Fitzroy River of Queensland. Where the species comes in contact with Chelodina canni they freely hybridise exhibiting hybrid vigour in the Styx River Drainage of Queensland.

The carapace is generally black in colour though some may be brown, it is broad and flattened with a deep medial groove. The scutes are edged in black in those individuals with a lighter background colour. The plastron is also very broad and is cream to yellow in colour with sutures edged in black. The neck is long and narrow, typical of the subgenus Chelodina, and reaches a length of approximately 60% of the carapace length. The neck has numerous small pointed tubercles and is grey to black in colour dorsally, cream below, as is the narrow head.

Females tend to grow to larger sizes and have deeper bodies. The maximum sizes recorded for females and males varies throughout the range, in river environments of the Murray it is 28.2 cm and 24.9 cm respectively, whereas in the Latrobe Valley it is 21.6 cm and 18.8 cm respectively. It is thought this is linked to productivity of the local environment.

When it feels threatened, this turtle will emit an offensive smelling fluid from its musk glands. This trait gives the turtle one of its other common names, "stinker". The eastern long-necked turtle is carnivorous, eating a variety of animals. This includes insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs, small fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

In early summer, the female will lay between 2 and 10 eggs in the banks of her aquatic habitat. Three to five months later the hatchlings break out of their shells. These young turtles often fall prey to predators such as fish and birds. Females will lay 1 to 3 clutches of eggs per year.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.



That time of the year again, and a milestone VICTORIA_STREET

The last twelve months have been somewhat tumultuous to say the least, with the relocation of the family and the layout. Yet here we are staring down another Christmas, so as per usual, here is this years Christmas card.

There is also another celebration with Victoria Street, this one in cricket parlance, one would raise their helmet and bat towards the sheds to honour the achievement. Here, I just sampled a beer and pointed to the (somewhat surprised) bride that there must be a fair few similar like minded modellers who actually look at the blog. 

Yes, there have been an odd 100,000 plus 'fares collected' on Victoria street. 

On this humble occasion, I again thank all of those who read the blog and encourage those others to post all about their trials and tribulations of their layout, along with their stories and the 'fun' of modelling.

"Little did Edna know that she was the surprise lucky punter that was the 100K fare on Victoria Street, yet she still insisted to pay her fare with five cent pieces."

All the best for the season with the usual warnings about excess and remember it's all about creating great memories for the kids. 

Merry Christmas from under a somewhat busy set of cross suburban wires. 



Good gravy, Paul Kelly braved the rain for a stunning Melbourne performance Tone Deaf

Review: Paul Kellys Making Gravy at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, December 14th, 2018

For many Melburnians, unpredictable weather is just part and parcel of living in the Victorian capital. However, when an amazing concert is planned for a Friday evening, and nature attempts to quite literally rain on our parade, it can turn the night into something that no one would have expected.

Such was the case on Friday night, when Paul Kelly kicked off his 2018 Making Gravy concert series against a backdrop of flash-flooding, stormy weather, and one of the most resilient crowds hell ever witness.

As dedicated Paul Kelly fans made the trek through the CBD to Melbournes Sidney Myer Music Bowl, many felt they were fighting a losing battle. With rain pouring down with unprecedented ferocity, visibility was limited to about two feet in front of people, and legions of soaked music lovers stumbled around the hilly entrance to the venue.

As these fans slowly made like the rain and poured into the Bowl, they were met with the soulful sounds of Melbournes Mojo Juju, who soundtracked a frenzied attempt by those in the audience to occupy the sheltered, seated section.

Despite the inclement weather, Mojo Juju powered through an all-too-brief set, managing to get the crowd moving with a short collection of immersive, catchy tunes.

Sadly, irony was not absent from the evening, with a performance of Dont Stop Me Now being cut short due to safety issues with the stage. Urging the audience to swim between the flags, Mojo Juju left the stage, only moments before the entire stage monitor system fell to the ground, ostensibly ruining the equipment due to its impromptu swim in the slowly-flooding venue.

Check out Mojo Jujus Dont Stop Me Now:


For most of the next two hours, punters were left in a state of confusion about what was set to occur for the rest of the evening. After evacuating the audience from the seated area to the grass, the audience waited patiently for further information about the nights proceedings.

As those behind the scenes worked defiantly to drain the flooded stage, security valiantly kept the crowd informed to the best of their ability, undoubtedly hampered by a power failure and a loss of the PA system.

While the gates were shut to ensure safety for those outside, a 2km-long line soon formed, as these prospective concertgoers soon found themselves frustrated with an unfortunate, albeit unavoidable, lack of communication.

However, the audience attempted to make the best of a bad situation, joining in singalongs of Paul Kellys songs, and exploring the well-decorated Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

With a blow-up bottle of sauce, an esky filled with what was ostensibly cans of Gravox, and street signs the related to Kellys songs (needed directions to St. Kilda, Kings Cross, the MCG, or the Foggy Highway? They had you covered!) adorning the venue, it was a shame that the poor weather made the decorations unable to be appreciated by those in attendance.

Thankfully, after close to two hours, the decision was made that the venue was safe for both performers and the audience, and would indeed be going ahead. Soon, a flood of people filled the venue, eager to finally witness the evening of music that almost seemed destined to be cancelled.

Check out Paul Kellys Hasnt It Rained:



Budapest was called the spa capital of the world. ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

It wasnt until the Turkish occupation of Buda in the C16th that the ancient Roman springs were brought back to their former glory. In the Turkish era, three thermal baths were re-developed, connected to Pasha Sokollu. He led Buda for 12 years and wanted to make the city a stable military centre and a liveable Turkish city. These well-known springs were used for bathing, or for hospitals.

Massages and the use of different creams and oils were an essential part of Turkish baths, and eventually Hungarians were happy to enjoy the same treatments. But because only the Turks were allowed to use the baths in the day, Hungarians could visit only after hours.

I have selected just one baths complex. From 1868 it took 10 years for Vilmos Zsigmondy (1821-88), the Hungarian engineer who specialised in geo-thermal well drilling, to find the waters under the City Park! The hot spring water supply came from the artesian well which was drilled 970 ms deep. Thus the underground waters rich in minerals could flow spontaneously from the great pressure, like a fountain.

Thermal baths

Front entrance, main building with three domed pavilions

Once the deep hot spring wells were drilled under the Heroes Square, Budapest became the spa capital of Europe. The first late C19th baths were not spectacular, but were very popular. The old Artesian Baths stone walled facility was built in 1881, along with marble baths and pools.

Artesian Baths were the first hot spring bath palace in Pest and the largest, with 15 indoor pools and three large outdoor ones, were surrounded by yellow and white neo-baroque buildings. Inside the vaulted ceilings were mosaic tiles, statues and painted windows.

The bath building was so popular that by the late 1880s the city councillors wanted a bigger, better  facility. The palace of Szechenyi Bath was designed by Gyozo Czigler (1850-1905) . He presented his plans at the national exhibition in 1896, when Hungary celebrated its 1000th birthday and when the Hungarian Millennium Monument on Heroes Square and Vajdahunyad Castle were built. This Professor from Budapest Technical University had also designed Gozsdu Court and Hunyadi Square Market.

It took 7 years to get the designs officially accepted by the General Meeting. Alas Gyozo Czigler had died by the time the construction began in May 1909. So the work was completed by architects Ede Dvorak and Kalman Gerster. At the opening in 1913, the baths were already renamed now called the Szechenyi Baths, after the Count Istvan Szechenyi.


Abstract Paradigms Podcast - December 2018 w/ Jonathan Griffiths + Gig Guide! Experimental Melbourne

The end of another year is upon us, but don't fret. There's a whole slather of new music to get you through the silly season, plus an interview with close friend Jonathan Griffiths - an emerging composer and percussionist experimenting with using compositional techniques from Balinese Gamelan in Afrobeat. There's some hot exclusive tracks here - don't miss out.

Get it here:
Get Jonathan's recital here:

J. McFarlane's Reality Guest Do You Like What I'm Sayin? [Hobbies Galore, 2019]



Severe thunderstorms and wild weather batter the eastern side of Australia as cyclone 'Owen' hits the north. In Melbourne, the CBD recorded more than 32mm of rain yesterday, which led to flash flooding. Today, rainfalls were not as extreme in the morning, but in the afternoon the heavens opened again! Melbourne copped another soaking of rain, as workers ended the working week. Heavy rain, lightning and thunder rolled through the city at about 5pm, with persistent rain continuing into the evening. That's about a whole month's of rain in two days!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

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Friday, 14 December


The David Bowie written musical Lazarus is coming to Australia in 2019 Tone Deaf

Fans of David Bowie and musical theatre rejoice! It has been confirmed that the late singers musical Lazarus will make its way to Australia next year. The musical written by Bowie and Enda Walsh is set to have its Australian premiere in Melbourne next May.

The musical will be produced by Melbournes The Production Company and will run at the Arts Centre Melbourne from May 18 to June 9. You can join a waitlist for tickets on the official website.

Related: A David Bowie exhibition is being reimagined as a smartphone app

Lazarus is based on the Walter Tellis novel The Man Who Fell To Earth, Bowie also starred in the 1976 film adaptation of the book. There are 18 Bowie tracks in the musical, many of which have been rearranged/rewritten to work into the story.

Since debuting at the end of 2015 in New York 0ff-broadway, the show has been performed in London, Bremen, Dsseldorf, Vienna, Linz and Hamburg. The Melbourne debut is just one of several new destinations for the musical in 2019. There are also plans for it to show in several new European cities including Amsterdam.

Related: David Bowies first-ever demo has been rediscovered in an old bread basket

Details including cast and ticketing for the musical will be released on February 19th 2019. Check out footage of the Lazarus cast performing Life On Mars by David Bowie below.

Watch: Life On Mars from Lazarus



An ever so subtle hint about BUY MY BOOK! Will Type For Food

Isn't it just awful how Christmas become so commercialised? On an unrelated note, my book would make a great Christmas present for everyone you know, and the link to buy it is right here.

In conclusion, here is a photograph of my cat with the book. Which you can buy. But not the cat. She's staying right here.

No automatic alt text available.

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Thursday, 13 December



Lomandra (also known as mat rushes) is a genus of perennial herbs in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Lomandroideae. There are 51 species, all of which are native to Australia; two of them also extend into New Guinea and New Caledonia. It has formerly been assigned to the family Dasypogonaceae, Xanthorrhoeaceae or Liliaceae. They are generally tufted deciduous perennials with long narrow blade-like leaves that arise from a central stemless base and have thick woody rhizomes and fibrous roots.

The plant is often used for revegetation and erosion control. The starchy, fleshy bases of the leaves are edible, tasting of raw peas. Even when the roots are exposed it will cling tenaciously in poor soils. Indigenous Australians ground the seeds for use in damper, and the long, flat, fibrous leaves were used for weaving. The base of the leaves contains water, and was chewed by those in danger of dehydration.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Avery Brundage: president of the American Olympic Committee ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Avery Brundage (1887-1975) graduated civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1909. His links to anti-Semitism were first seen in his university days, where he was president of a fraternity chapter who would accept any Aryan male who did not have a Jewish parent.

Brundage was a fine athlete who won the American National decathlon three times. He competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, where he represented the USA in both pentathlon and decathlon, but did not win any medals.

He began to involve himself in sports administration, eventually at the American Olympic Committee level. In 1928, Brundage was elected AOC president.

Many sports administrators disliked womens involvement at the top level. So the anti-woman movement was not pleased when, in July 1932, American athlete Babe Didrikson did brilliantly to win two Olympic gold medals in javelin and 80m hurdles. Didrikson was charged with professionalism because she had appeared in an advertisement for milk. This was enough for Brundage to vigorously advocate suspension, and thus the poor woman was suspended by the Amateur Athletic Union.

Jesse Owens won the gold medal and saluted the American flag.
German Lutz Long won the silver medal and gave the Nazi salute.

Meanwhile, in 1931, Berlin was awarded the right to host the 1936 Olympics, signalling the countrys return to the global stage after years as an international outsider since WWI.

But soon after Hitler took power in 1933, international protests focused on Germanys official anti-Semitic policies. Countries feared that the German organisers would prohibit Jewish athletes from participating in the Olympic Games.

In 1934 the AOC president Avery Brundage visited Berlin where his fraternisation with the Nazis was infamous. After a brief, tightly managed inspection of German sports facilities in 1934, Brundage stated publicly that Jewish athletes were being treated fairly and that the Games should continue, as planned. In fact as the Olympics controversy heated up in 1935, Brundage alleged the existence of a Jewish-Communist conspiracy to exclude the USA! But the pro-boycott side said that Brundage was already an anti-Semite who, on his trip to Berlin, took no notice of the oppression of Jews.

Avery Brundage was arguing that politics had no place in sport; that the Olympic Games belong to the athletes and not to the politicians. He wrote in the AOC's pamphlet Fair Play for American Athletes that American athletes should not become involved in the Jewish issue. As the Olympics controversy heated up in 1935, Brundage alleged the existence of a "Jewish-Communist conspiracy" to keep the USA out of the Games. Jewish community groups in the USA, he said, planned a militant campaign to prevent athletic organisations from permitting their athletes to participate.

Why didnt all the other countries simply disregard Brundage and go ahead with their own boycott? Because other than the home nation, Germany, the USA had the biggest and most influential selection of athletes. Once the USA voted to participate in Dec 1935, 49 other countries fell in line. 




We've had a couple of days of warm weather and our beaches have been full with people seeking some relief beside the water.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

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Wednesday, 12 December


New Exquisite Corpse Music from Melbourne Surrealist Collective Experimental Melbourne

Little Songs of the Mutilated, a surrealist music collective headed by multi-instrumentalist Justin Ashworth (Glasfrosch, Kungfuepilepsy, etc), creates unpredictable dream-like soundscapes using the old Surrealist Exquisite Corpse technique: six players create 40 seconds of sound, then pass the last 10 seconds on to the next player, who then responds to that 10 seconds with 40 seconds of their own, and so on, until all six players have had a turn on all six pieces.  

Usually curated by Ashworth, recently the project has experimented with guest curators.  The most recent effort, "They Were Lifelessly Melding In A Pool Painted with Little Songs of the Mutilated", was curated by none other than the reclusive aging audiomancer known as A Demon Sheen (The Horn, Gnaumgn, Intrinsic Light, Stinky Picnic, Undead Magic User, Grist, Haark, Haraam, etc), and features an all-star cast of magickal and non-magickal practitioners of sonic deviation:

Sage Pbbbt (Digital Penetration, solo, etc)
Gelareh Pour (Mnmn, Garden, Zj, solo, etc)
David Prescott-Steed (Realms, Gnaumgn, Le Vide, solo, etc)
A Demon Sheen (as above)

From field recordings to kamancheh to exended vocal techniques to synth to the amplified rubbing of hand-skin, this release uses the Third Mind of the cut-up technique to dictate a bewildering tale from beyond the Realm of the Conscious, utilising the Surrealist's techniques to access unrefined Surreality itself.   Available for streaming, or purchase (we recommend purchase and download, because then these ritualised pieces of telesonic chronoplasty can be further randomised into larger-scale shuffle-plays, increasing and enhancing the 'chance' elements therein, a feature more likely to align one's own Path with the desires of the Earth Coi...


Perths Fake Pollock Exhibition Black Mark

Considering that there was an entire fake Kusama and Murakami exhibitions in China earlier this year; remember there was a fake Jackson Pollock exhibition that toured Australian in 1978. 

Bohdan Ledwij from Alfred Cove in Perth claimed to be an entrepreneur and art dealer who had amassed a collection of Pollock paintings alleged insured for $4.1 million.  Lewdij presented an exhibition called Paintings by Jackson Pollock in Perth. The exhibition was opened by Elwyn Lynn, the then Curator of the Power Gallery of Contemporary Art at Sydney University. Many other people were taken in by the exhibition including Andrew Saw, The Australian art critic in Perth, who reviewed it for the paper.

It is hard to comprehend that people were taken in by the exhibition, but remember, the people of Perth were amongst the last Europeans to encounter modern art and that the first exhibition of actual modern art in Perth had only been a few years earlier. The name of the American painting Jackson Pollock, if not his paintings, were familiar because of the massive publicity in 1973 when the Australian National Gallery purchase of Blue Poles (Jackson Pollocks Number 11, 1952).

However, the exhibition didnt just fool the hicks of Western Australia.  Lewdij then offered Ken Reinhard, principal of Alexander Mackie College of Arts, a teacher training college in Sydney to transport the exhibition to Sydney. Ken Reinhard later told reporters: I have to admit I wouldnt have known an original Pollock from a bulls foot in 1978 but to get a chance to put on a free exhibition of Pollocks seemed too good to pass up. 

It was only when the Sydney exhibition about to open that Sydney critics express doubts about the authenticity of the decoratively paint dripped canvases. Terry Ingram the arts correspondent for The Australian Financial Review was one who doubted surely are not those of the great Jackson Pollock, we have come to know, the untidy, neurotic genius who lived in a pigsty and painted Blue Poles. 

New York Experts were contacted; an incredulous Clement Greenberg and Lee Krasner were shown photographs of the fake Pollocks. The Sydney exhibition cancelled and Bohdan Ledwij claiming that they were going to the US for authentication. It is hard to know what was going on, was it a practical joke or a scam. Unlike the fake exhibitions in China there was no attempt to scam the public or venues and the exhibition appears but it would have been an expensive joke considering the transport, venues and materials.

P.S. The following year, on Wednesday 3 May, 1979 Bohdan Ledwij was sentenced to six years jail, with a minimum of fours years before parole. He had been found guilty of seven charges of stealing $436,156 from Bunbury radiologist Dr. Peter Frederick Pratten. Ledwij was pretending to be buying paintings for Dr Pratten  instead Ledwij was using the money himself. 


Aussie property prices deflate -1.9pc over the year "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Home prices fall in Q3

The ABS released its residential property price indexes this morning.

The indexes showed capital city prices down by -1.9 per cent over the year to September 2018.

Dragging back the data series all the way back to their inception in 2003 you can see that - with Melbourne prices down by -2.6 per cent in Q3 2018 - surprise package Hobart is set to take the mantle of strongest performer over the full history of the data series.

That may seem an unlikely outcome, but there is more interstate and international capital around these days - especially from China - and Hobart has been relatively affordable until recently. 

Asian tourism is firing in Tassie, and the lower dollar has helped to turn around the exporting economy. 

Indexed housing market price changes in Brisbane and Adelaide continue to track each other remarkably closely in recording modest price growth, and there was also solid growth in Canberra over the year to September (+3.7 per cent). 

A significant decline over the year was again recorded in deflationary Darwin at -4.5 per cent.

Looking at the chart from 2003 to 2018 by capital city the most striking observation is just how similar price growth has been, despite the divergence of the resources capitals through the mining boom years (I've posted a few charts here - you can click on them to expand). 

Looking at the long run figures the case for a raging property bubble isn't an especially strong one, with the weighted average capital city price index slightly more than doubling....

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Tuesday, 11 December



The Queens Bridge is a historic road bridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Victoria. The bridge was built in 1889 and has five wrought iron plate girder spans, and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The bridge was built by contractor David Munro, and replaced a timber footbridge built in 1860. The bridge is a very flat arch, and has five spans constructed of wrought iron plate girders. The bridge rests on iron cylinders filled with concrete, in groups of eight, with arched bracing between. It connects Market Street and William Street on the north bank to Queensbridge Street to the south. Trams on route 55 also cross the bridge.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #624 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week: 11 - 17 December 2018 Newsletter | #624 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 11th December 2018 to Monday 17th December 2018 Christmas Festival 2018 Santas Magical Kingdom Aspire Pakenham Christmas Celebration The Playground Pop-Up At Fed Square Carols By Candelight Creedence 50th Anniversary Show School Of Rock | The Musical Christmas Party with the Marty Rose Band Nepal Festival The Make It Collective | Christmas market In The Loop Market | Coburg Christmas Gift Shopping Weekend Wrap Outdoor Cinema Guide New Years Eve Parties Enjoy #Melbourne Christmas Festival 2018 The annual Christmas festival transforms the city into a magical place and celebrates the spirit of Christmas in true Melbourne style. Federation Square will be transformed into Christmas Square a magical forest offering festive fun for the whole family. Gingerbread Village at Federation Square. Santas House Christmas Projections Melbournes Christmas Festival The Playground Pop-Up At Fed Square Daily in December @ Federation Square The perfect pit stop on a family day out with everything the little ones love - were talking yard games, a ball pit, sweet treats, ice cream and loads more plus Santa Claus on weekends. The Playground Pop-Up At Fed Square Santas Magical Kingdom 23 November - 23 December 2018 | Caulfield Racecourse The magic of Christmas will come alive at Santas Magical Kingdom with an interactive walk-through adventure land. Santas Magical Kingdom 2018 | Ticketmaster Aspire Pakenham Christmas Celebration Saturday 15 December 2018 - 10am - 12pm | Aspire Childcare Families invited to our Christmas celebration featuring free Santa photos free face painting sausage sizzle and lots more! Plus go in the draw to win a special Christmas hamper. Aspire Pakenham Christmas Celebration Carols By Candelight Head out with family and friends for a wonderful night of carol singing. Bayside Carols in the Park 2018 - Tuesday Carols by Candlelight - South Morang - Friday Greater Dandenong Carols in Harmony Square 2018 - Friday Manningham Carols by Candlelight - Friday Carols in the Cathedral 2018 - Fri and Sat Banyules Carols By Candlelight 2018 - Saturday Carols at Como Park - Sunday Christmas Carols by Candelight @ Montsalvat - Sunday Whitehorse Carols 2018 - Sunday Carols by Candlelight | Vision Australia - Myer Music Bowl --> Carols By Candelight...



Three different views of the Darebin Creek in the Parklands merged and fused together.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

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Monday, 10 December


Marcel Duchamps Christmas Black Mark

How to display and decorate your Christmas tree in the style of Marcel Duchamp: he did do this one Christmas at Teenys house. First, hang the Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling. There a strategic advantage to this way of displaying a Christmas tree, as Duchamp pointed out there is more room for presents underneath it. On the subject of presents, in keeping with theme of Dadaist readymades, they should be wrapped la Man Ray.

Marcel Duchamp enjoyed Christmas. In 1907 he held a two day Christmas party that was so wild that he was evicted from his apartment at 65 rue Caulaincourt in Paris. He was twenty years old and had done very little that year but hang around in Paris and go to the seaside in the summer. The menu for this riotous party survives, exhibiting some early Duchamp word play and a drawing of a naked woman sitting in a giant champagne glass drinking from a bottle. Note the English Plump Pudding: Rebellion Menu / Ituitus / Hors douavres / Divedi truffe / Salood / Pts / Plump Pudding / Desserts / Vino / Liquors / Champagne / M.D. 24 Dis. 1907 

There is a further art historical connection between this infamous Christmas party and Duchamps later art; leiris202 claims that photo of Duchamps draftsmans stool used as a stand for a Christmas tree 1907. The stool looks similar to the one used, five years later, for Bicycle Wheel, the first of Duchamps readymades but even if it isnt the idea of a Christmas tree is good way to introduce the idea of readymades. 

The common claim of not to be able to understand Duchamps readymades is odd because people annually make Christmas trees which are by definition an assisted (decorated) readymade. The Dictionnaire abrg du surralisme defines the readymade as an everyday object elevated to the more dignified level of an artistic object at the mere whim of the artist. Dictionnaire abrg du surralisme (1938; Rennes, 1969) Ordinary objects regularly transcend the commonplace in religion, as well as, art.

The tree decorated with its lights is connecting with the ancient Roman rituals and the god Mithras. Mithras is a god who was also man, born on December 25th; his birth also announced by a star and witnessed by shepherds. Art, like religion and culture, is the recombination, reuse and reinterpretation of pre-existing readymade parts.



Joan Jett & The Blackhearts announce one-off Aussie headline show "IndyWatch Feed"

Melbourne is set to get rather rowdy this January, with rock icons Joan Jett & The Blackhearts announcing a one-off headline show during their tour of the country.

Earlier this year, Aussie music fans received the news that this summer is going to be Red Hot, with Jimmy Barnes and Joan Jett headlining 2019s Red Hot Summer Festival. Along with The Living End, Diesel, Richard Clapton, and Chocolate Starfish, these shows have been in high demand, with many selling out.

Of course, the most exciting aspect of this tour is the presence of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, who will be making their first Aussie appearances since the Falls Festival in late 2010.

This previous tour resulted in one lone club show in early 2011, when Joan Jett and co. took over Sydneys Annandale Hotel for a night that punters would never forget. Now, with another tour on the way, its Melbournes turn, with a one-off headline gig being announced for this January.

Yes, taking place on Wednesday, January 16th, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts are set to bring their classic punk rock stylings to Melbournes iconic Corner Hotel.

Supported by Cable Ties and Chiko Molls DJs (featuring Amy from Amyl & The Sniffers), its on track to be one of the most intense club shows that youll see anywhere in 2019!

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, December 14th, but if you sign up to The Corner Hotel newsletter, you can score some pre-sale access from tomorrow!

Check out Joan Jett & The Blackhearts I Love Rock And Roll:


Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Australian Tour 2019

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
With Cable Ties + Chiko Molls DJs
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC



dbdspirit: In response to the NSFW ban being enacted by Tumblr... matthew schiavello: photos and words


In response to the NSFW ban being enacted by Tumblr Staff, on December 17th 2018 I propose that we all log off of our Tumblr accounts for 24 hours. 

The lack of respect and communication between staff and users is stark. Users have been begging staff to delete the porn bot outbreak, which has plagued the website for well over a year. The porn bots oftentimes send people asks and messages, trying to get them to go to a website full of viruses. They also spam advertisements on others posts.  

Users have also begged that Tumblr ban neo-nazis, child porn, and pedophiles, all which run rampant on the site. The site/app got so bad that it was taken off the app store.

However, instead of answering the users, Tumblr has instead taken the liberty to ban all NSFW content, regardless of age. But users have already run into issues of their SFW content being marked as sensitive and being flagged as NSFW, not allowing them to share their work.

Not only does this discriminate again content creators, but it also discriminates against sex workers. Disgustingly, the ban will be enacted on December 17 which is also International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

This ban is disgusting, and while I (and plenty of others) welcome porn bots and child porn being banned, the Tumblr filtration system is broken. It tags artistic works nipples as NSFW (when it is art), it tags SFW art as NSFW (when it is not), and does not stop the porn bots, neo-nazis and dozens of other issues.

This ban is discriminatory. This ban is ineffective. This ban is unacceptable. 

To protest, log off of your Tumblr account for the entirety of December 17th. Log off at 12 am EST or 9PM PST and stay off for 24 hours. Dont post. Dont log on. Dont even visit the website. Dont give them that sweet ad revenue. 

Tumblrs stock has already taken a hard hit. Lets make it tank. Maybe then they will listen to the users. 

Reblog to signal boost! We must force change.


photosworthseeing: The last Selfie Sunday of 2018 will be on... matthew schiavello: photos and words


The last Selfie Sunday

of 2018 will be on Sunday, December 16th.

Submit your selfies until Friday, December 14th and join the fun.
Since we cannot guarantee what how the dysfunctional Tumblr algorithms will treat your selfie submissions, please submit as early as possible. Ideally until Wednesday, 12th.

Give your photography a face - your face - on the PWS - Selfie Sunday

PWS - Photo(grapher)s Worth Seeing



Our weather continues to surprise with more rain and falls in temperature. Never a dull moment!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

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Sunday, 09 December



MIUC 111218: Maria Chavez (PE/US); Mary Doumany/Philip Brophy; Rayhan Sudrajat Experimental Melbourne

MARIA CHAVEZ (PE/US)(Turntable) -
Trials and Torments - MARY DOUMANY (Harp/Vocals)/PHILIP BROPHY (Drums/Sounds)
RAYHAN SUDRAJAT (Sape/Kacapi/Suling - from Bali, Sunda, and Kalimantan)

18/12: End of year party feat: Will Guthrie (FR/AU); Kangaroo Skull/Morgan Wright; Fia Fiell/Simon Karis; Badies; Video Ezy; Josten Myburgh (WA)/Michael McNab

Details for our 21st birthday festival in January to be announced next week!

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Saturday, 08 December



Australia has nearly 200 known species of snake, only 25 of which are considered potentially deadly. Common snakes in the Melbourne area and surrounding suburbs include the Tiger Snake, Eastern Brown Snake, Copperhead Snake, White-Lipped Snake, Small-Eyed Snake and Red-Bellied Black Snake. There are over 27 types of snake in Victoria and a number of these are venomous, including the tiger snake, the copperhead, the brown snake and the red-bellied black snake.

Darebin Parklands is a nature reserve in the midst of inner suburban Melbourne. It has a host of animal species, many of them native that live happily in its confines. These creatures of course include snakes. Numerous signs relating to snakes are found throughout the Parklands, reminding people to take care during the Summer between the months of October to April.

I have seen snakes a number of times, in the Parklands and elsewhere, but fortunately these encounters have been innocent enough. While seeing a snake may be an intimidating experience, they are typically shy creatures and most will try to avoid confrontation with humans and quickly slither away (how quickly they can move is indeed a sobering experience).

The latest encounter was with a 1.2 m tiger snake that was crawling along the path, rushing to get to an area well-covered with grass and bushes. The day was very hot and the snake moved extremely quickly, rushing away from me towards cover. It was fortunate I had the camera in my hands and was able to take a few photos.

Tiger snakes are a highly venomous snake species found in the southern regions of Australia, including its coastal islands, such as Tasmania. These snakes are highly variable in their colour, often banded like those on a tiger, and forms in their regional occurrences. All populations are in the genus Notechis, and their diverse characters have been described in further subdivisions of this group; they are sometimes described as distinct species and/or subspecies.

Tiger snakes accounted for 17% of identified snakebite victims in Australia between 2005 and 2015, with four deaths recorded from 119 confirmed envenomations. Tiger snake venoms possess potent neurotoxins, coagulants, haemolysins, and myotoxins. Symptoms of a bite include localised pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, followed by a fairly rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. In a study, the mortality rate from untreated bites is reported to be between 40 and 60%.

The risk of being bitten by a snake or dying from a snake bite is extremely low. While highly variable, it is estimated that no more than 100 or 200 people each year get bitten by snakes in Victoria. Despite this, on average only one person every 5 years dies of a snake bite. The last recorded fatal snake bite in Victoria wa...


Multi exposure on 35mm film. Image  #27, August-September 2018.... matthew schiavello: photos and words

Multi exposure on 35mm film.
Image  #27, August-September 2018. Negative version.
Camera: Nikon FM10
Lens: AI Micro-Nikkor 1:2.8 55m
Film: AGFA CT Precisa 100 (soaked in Window Cleaner and gifted by Walter:
post edit processing by Matthew.


Endell St Military Hospital, London - run by women during WW1 ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

WW1 hospitals were tough, partially because the conditions in which the medical staff had to tend to the terrible injuries were too crowded and poorly equipped.

But necessity was the mother of invention; the wounds inflicted on millions of soldiers drove the search for new medical techniques. Technological innovations had a massive impact on survival rates. The Thomas splint, for example, secured a broken leg. In 1914, 80% of all soldiers with a broken femur died. By 1916, 80% of such soldiers survived.

The British Army began the routine use of blood transfusion in treating wounded soldiers, where blood was transferred directly from one person to another. That was until a US Army Dr Captain Robertson realised the need to stockpile blood; he established the first blood bank on the Western Front in 1917, using sodium citrate to prevent coagulation. Blood was kept on ice for up to 28 days and then transported to casualty clearing stations for use in life-saving surgery.

But professional hospitals were needed. In Aug 1914 two women, Dr Flora Murray and Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson, founded the Women's Hospital Corps/WHC whose medical staff was entirely composed of graduates from the London School of Medicine for Women. Because the women anticipated a demeaning reaction from the War Office, Drs Murray and Garrett Anderson applied to the more liberal French Red Cross. The French did allocate the newly built Hotel Claridge in Paris for the women to use as a military hospital! It opened in Sept 1914. 

The Red Cross brought wounded soldiers on stretchers
and the hospital staff took them in via external lifts.

Many wounded soldiers needed surgery as soon as they arrived at the hospital

British teaching hospitals had refused to appoint women to training posts. Yet despite their limited surgical experience, the hospital was successful; French and British authorities' scepticism reduced. Britains Royal Army Medical Corps-RAMC began to treat the hospital as if it were an auxiliary to the British Army, rather than to the French Army.

Then the two doctors were asked to open another hospital at Wimereux, near Boulogne. The Women's Hospital Corps ran both hospitals successfully.

In Jan 1915, a change of policy meant British casualties were evacuated back to the UK, rather than remaining in France. Drs Murray and Garrett Anderson offered the services of the WHC to the British Army. Fortunately the War Office had received favourable reports of the Corps' achievements. So the two women were personally invited by the Army Medical Services director to run a large military hospital in central London, under RAMC auspices. The WHC closed down its two  hospitals in France and returned home.

The Endell St Military Hospital in Covent Gardens opened in May 1915 in the former St Giles workhouse, previously used by the Metropolitan Asylums Board to house dest...

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Friday, 07 December



Promise of a hot day early in the morning, with the mercury climbing to 38C finally.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.


Flora #08 200818.  Mixed media (flora, 35mm film). matthew schiavello: photos and words

Flora #08 200818.  

Mixed media (flora, 35mm film).  


Wegmans dogs Black Mark

Sit! Stay! Stay Man Ray! (Not Man Ray, the artist, but Man Ray, William Wegmans first Weimaraner dog.) William Wegman: Being Human is a survey exhibition of thirty years of photographic work at the NGV International. Wegmans photographs combine two things that he enjoys: art history and Weimaraner dogs. Wegmans Weimaraner dogs are his willing, loyal and obedient muse.

William Wegman, On base, 2007

Does the dogs expression change when it is wearing a wig or standing on a box? Or, am I just projecting my perception of emotions onto the dog? What are his dogs thinking when he photographs them? As Wittgenstein wrote: If a lion could speak, we could not understand him. Meaning that the life of another animal is structured so differently to our own that even a shared language would not be common ground for communication. Wegman believes that his second dog Fay Ray had pride in her work, her balance and poise; maybe she did, maybe she just want to please him. One thing that I am sure about that they are not thinking about is art history or how it can be funny. And Wegmans photographs are funny and his dogs are the ultimate deadpan-looking straight man in this routine.

If we have learnt anything from the social media it is that pet photographs dominate, so it is not surprising that Wegmans photographs are popular. Wegman has been photographing his dog since 1970, long before social media. Large format Polaroids create a unique photographic print, the complete opposite of digital photography.

Im not into dogs, I am more of a cat guy and I not into putting clothes on animals. Im not sure if this simply an aesthetic choice, or a matter of taste, but that it might reflect deeper ethical and existential considerations. So there is too much Cindy Sherman and not enough Sol LeWitt in this exhibition for my taste, however, I still enjoyed looking at Wegmans light-hearted take on art history and his dogs.

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Tuesday, 10 July


TomboyBill "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

NAME: TomboyBill (a.k.a Dionne Chambers) LOCATION: I live in Banyule and work in Darebin IN A SENTENCE EXPLAIN YOUR CRAFT: I am a fine artist/painter, who in a former life was an illustrator/graphic designer. WHATS YOUR PROUDEST PIECE OF ART: I would have to say   Its 2am Get Out Of My Head  from my last exhibition offcut. It was []

The post TomboyBill appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.


Got A Pulse, A Conscience And A Funny Bone? Then You Need To See Hannah Gadsbys Nanette "IndyWatch Feed"

If you have Netflix, and a beating heart, then set aside an hour and watch Australian comedian Hannah Gadsbys new special, Nanette.

Were not going to review it for you. Were not going to spoil any of the punch lines. Were just going to tell you Nanette is some of the best, most powerful comedy ever produced. Its also probably the bravest comedy ever made, and will make you laugh and cry at the same time a craugh.

It will also likely inspire the absolute shit out of you, which helps explain why the performance has received five star reviews across the globe, and has won Best Show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Gadsby herself also won Best Comedy Performer at the Helpmann Awards.

You can find out more details by clicking here.

And heres the official trailer.

The post Got A Pulse, A Conscience And A Funny Bone? Then You Need To See Hannah Gadsbys Nanette appeared first on New Matilda.

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Monday, 09 July


Ut the el are you talking about, you ef wit? Will Type For Food

Ut, adit, ob, etaerio - I think we can all agree that these are all incredibly important concepts, as they allow us all to win important points in Scrabble. But what do they actually mean? What am I, Einstein, or something? Well, yes, actually, and I'm going to tell you exactly what they mean now.

UT - a very small utterance.

ADIT - To edit an ad.

OB - Thing that gives birth to little obs.

TALIONS - Plural of talion, 'thing that is a talion; thing that has the property of being a talion'.

EUOI - Second-person informal pronoun for an oik. As in, "Hey, euoi!"

ETAERIO - Those weird test charts of letters they make you read when you go to the optometrist.

JUPON - The state of wearing a JUP. Opposite of JUPOFF. 

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Friday, 06 July


Visit the NT! Honest Government Ad "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The Australien Government has made a tourism ad for the Northern Territory and its surprisingly honest and informative!


Visit the NT Honest Government Ad

The Australien Government has made a tourism ad for the Northern Territory and it's surprisingly honest and informative. Tell gas companies to get the frack out of the NT: Ways you can support us to keep making videos: Become a Patron: Tip us on PayPal: Shout-outs to our Patreon Producers: Brian J Saville, Dirk Kelly, IDontHaveTimeToWork, Amel Tresnjic, Waeress, Nicholas-B, Richelle-R, Anna Hathis, Rumpole c cat, Tom Mettam, Anon-H. Produced by Patrons of the Juice Media.

Posted by The Juice Media on Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Tell gas companies to get the frack out of the NT



Greek Resistance Bulletin Open Jam fundraiser "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Get along to the Greek Resistance Bulletin fundraiser at Open Studio204 High Street, Northcote 8-11pm on Thursday 12 July. Come and dance the night away with performers from OPEN JAM "". Supporting Greek Resistance Bulletin means supporting independent and radical news and voices and promoting local community artists. The night features Odysseas Krypotos & Yiannis Tsartsaflis (Cats and the Canary), Paschalia Latra, Giorgos Sklavos, Kalliopi Stavropoulos and special guests. 

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Thursday, 05 July


Liam Snootle "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Name: Liam Snootle Location: Collingwood In a sentence, explain your craft?  A visual artist searching for cohesion between the left and right brain. Whats your proudest piece of art?  A painting from a couple of years back, entitled Late Fragment, I see it as the perfect balance between colour and shape, many times the final []

The post Liam Snootle appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.

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Wednesday, 04 July


Back on track. VICTORIA_STREET

"Under the cloak of darkness of an early Sunday morning, after a sly reconnaissance mission during a weekday, it was decided to power up the trolley wire and it was time to knock off some oxide of the rail head. As the poor locals of Victoria Street have had to tolerate bustitution for over twelve months.

The tram, SW6 964, out of service with 'special' on the headboard, gently coasted into Victoria St from Albert Rd, then gingerly back shunted into 3 road of Westside depot. Replacement buses transferred from Footscray were laid up on roads 1 & 2. 

The next trip was out to the racecourse, with somewhat a minor delay at the gates, as the railway signal man was caught out, for he and his colleagues haven't had to throw the switch for the overhead from the 1500V railway to the 600V tramway for over a year.

It was rather quiet at racecourse terminus, there was no one there. The replacement buses had somewhat diminished the reliability of the trams, even with the bus idling there, no one was interested.
As this was the only tram service out this far today, the crew had chance to inspect the operation of the bundy clock and the track phone, together with a few cigarettes and a discussion about yesterday's football results.  



What's wrong with tall men anyway? Will Type For Food

Not all men!
No tall men!
On mall ten!
Non mallet!
Mall net on!
Loan ten, ML!
Anent moll!

- from Songs and Sonnets of the MRAs.

 UPDATE! - Interestingly, if you rearrange the letters of 'David Leyonhjelm' you come up with the words 'what an utter twonk.'

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Tuesday, 03 July


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #601 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: 3 - 9 July 2018Newsletter | #601 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 3rd July 2018 to Monday 9th July 2018 Winter School Holiday Guide Ice Skating Festival Precarious | Circus Oz The Big Bubble Show! Kid's Magic Gala Moonee Valley Winter Fest Melbourne Magic Festival Espaa | Spanish Music Concert - Melbourne Musicians European Night Market Phillip Island Whale Festival Live At London Eleven VIVA La Fiesta Enjoy #Melbourne Circus Oz | Precarious 29th June - 15th July | Circus Oz Big Top @ Royal Botanic Gardens A 70-minute non-stop spectacle of acrobatic mayhem. #Must see! Precarious | The Big Bubble Show! Combining astonishing bubble magic, sidesplitting audience participation a | Spanish Music Concert - Melbourne Musicians Melbourne Musicians directed by Frank U.Pam present a program of Spanish music by various composers, mostly premieres or rare performances. Espaa | St Johns Southgate | Buy Tickets Online European Night Market - Madame Brussels Lane Every Friday night in July - 5pm - 9pm Expect to be transported to the finest European hotspots with fabulous food and live entertainment each week. European Night Market 2018 | Madame Brussels Lane VIVA La Fiesta | Narre Warren Saturday 7th July - Sunday 8th July 2018 Celebrating Latin culture: Copacabana International presents a two day family friendly festival filled with great energy and fun. VIVA La Fiesta 2018 | Bunjil Place This Coming Weekend Docklands Firelight Festival, Face of Ethiopia in Docklands, Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, Low Light Festival | Art Music & Food, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Melbourne Truffle Festival, NAIDOC Week, Phillip Island Whale Festival, Puffs | The Play, World Chocolate Day View Weekend Guide | Winter School Holiday Guide Markets This Weekend Melbourne Rare Book Fair, Collins Place, Casey Centra, City Cellar Door and Wine Market, Boho Luxe Winter Wanderlust Market, Coburg Wellness Market, Narre Warren, Sorrento, Footscray Finds Market, Crate Digger Record Fair Preston, Craigieburn, Docklands Sunday Market, Melbourne Tool Sale + 54 Markets + Computer Markets View Market Calendar | Garage Sales Newsletter Subscribe Current Week Archive | Previous Week Advertising | Privacy Policy | Contact Us All Content Copyright (c) 2018 RIPEFRUIT. All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, 02 July


Sextual Healing Will Type For Food

Art of Safe Sexting to teach Victorian schoolgirls how to safely send sexy snaps

SCHOOLGIRLS as young as 12 will be taught how to safely send sexy snaps via texts and social media, including cropping out their heads in nude images.
Look, I know it may seem strange to some, this prospect of teachers going about the classroom teaching students how to put condoms on their iPhones and investigating how to administer contraceptives to their laptops, but what alternative do they have? Once a kid takes a nude selfie and texts it off, it's out there in the world. And that nude selfie is going to meet other nude selfies, and soon enough those nude selfies are going to do what nude selfies do with one another, and they're going to have nude baby selfies. Just like Tamagotchis, only small and pink and doing lots of nude baby selfie poos all over the place and.... okay, I have no idea what Tamagotchis actually look like, but that's not the point! LISTEN UP!

This is serious. Because the other problem is sextually transmissible diseases. Do you have any idea what it's like when you're iPhone gets gonnorhea? My friend's phone got that once, and... stop tittering up the back! My friend's phone got that once, and it started doing revolting mucal discharges all over the place. It got incredibly itchy, and so it started buzzing at random intervals to scratch itself. It was all incredibly embarrassing, and it was all because it had been sending nude selfies without adequate protection!

Safe sext, kids. It's a thing. Get onto it.

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Sunday, 01 July


Here's a disgusting and potentially toxic thing! Let's eat it! Will Type For Food

They have spirulina in Smarties. Did you know they have spirulina in Smarties? I was contemplating this surprising news yesterday shortly after having discovered, along with the Baron, a slime mould growing in our community garden. (By the way, don't slime moulds strike you as having something of a split personality disorder? Are they not sure whether they want to be a slime or a mould? Make up your tiny microbial mind, Gunkypoos!) Like, I would have expected there to be a little vegetable (wheat, sugar) and a little animal (milk) in my Smarties: but a blue-green algae? Really?

(And while we're talking about split personality disorder, what's that blue-green algae all about?)

But anyway, it all got me thinking - if I can munch my way through a packet of sweets with animal, vegetable, and cyanobacteria in it, what's to stop me throwing some other oddities in it? Mushrooms, yeast, fungi generally, yes - all these have been done before. But - and I think you see where I'm going with this - what about edible slime moulds?

The internet, an amazingly authoritative source for credulous people all over the world, was, it turns out, surprisingly silent on this matter. Our old friend, Dog Vomit Slime Mould (these names, they just seem to exacerbate the split personality disorder) did appear in a couple of web searches: it's kind of the rock star of the slime mould world, it seems. This newspaper article suggests that you can eat Dog Vomit Slime Mould (though considering DVSM was so named because it looked like dog vomit, how would you ever be able to tell if you were eating the right thing until, well, you had eaten it?). Though a few more web searches seemed to imply that aforesaid newspaper article writer was getting his slime moulds confused. (The last thing the discerning slime mould gastronome wants to do is to get his flavours mixed up like that.)  It turns out there is another, distinct slime mould which people will sometimes eat in South America called Caca de Luna ("Vomit of the Moon" - do you see the emerging theme here?) which you could, if you were culinarily so inclined, prepare as a tapas.

Slime moulds are all very well. But what about mosses and lichens? I've got my omnivore on now, so I want to get a slice of a juicy moss and a soupcon of delicious lichen. As it turns out, there's always Icelandic moss, which is, (confusingly) not a moss but a lichen. Hey! Yeah! I made a beer out of Icelandic moss once and I totally didn't die!

As it turns out, almost all of the edible mosses turn out to be lichens, and the edible mosses that don't turn out to be lichens may not exist at all. But on the other hand, I'm not sure what on earth lichens or mosses are anyway, so maybe that's enough confusion for one day.

Fig 1: Potentially delicious! 

No, you can't have any Smarties. I ate them all.

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Friday, 29 June


Volcanic ash disrupts Bali flights "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Mount Agung volcano spewing hot volcanic ash as seen from Kubu Village in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, 29 June 2018. The ash cloud out of Mount Agung was reported to stretch to a height of 2000 m after an eruption on 28 June in the evening. EPA/Made Nagi

SYDNEY, AAP Australians flying to and from Bali are being urged to check their airlines websites on Friday morning after Mount Agung began spewing water vapour and ash into the atmosphere, disrupting travel.

Flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and the tourist island have been delayed, cancelled and turned back because of renewed activity at the Indonesian volcano.

More than 20 flights across Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin and Air Asia were disrupted between Thursday night and Friday morning due to the ash cloud moving toward Denpasar airport, which is now closed.

Virgin cancelled two flights between Sydney and Denpasar on Thursday and said another scheduled to depart the island on Friday morning faced delays.

The airlines are awaiting an update from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre due at 9am on Friday.

The Mount Agung volcano began shooting ash 2,000 metres into the air on Thursday.

The regional volcanic ash advisory centre in Darwin said winds could carry the ash southwest toward Balis international airport and Java, Indonesias most densely populated island.

Mount Agung is about 70km northeast of Balis tourist hotspot of Kuta.

Its last major eruption was in 1963 and killed about 1,200 people.

Activity at the volcano was high last year and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, but it had been quieter this year.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Local government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

The post Volcanic ash disrupts Bali flights appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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Wednesday, 27 June


June 27 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1789 - Ooooooooo, there was excitement plus, peoples, when Captain Tench and his party gallivanted upon the Nepean River.

1865 - Army commaner and engineer John Monash was found in the cabbage patch.

1874 - Victoria's mining unions amalgamated to form Amalgamated Miners Union.

1880 - Seige of Glenrowan Day 2 -
Most of the law abiding element of Glenrowans population had been rounded up by Ned Kelly and his gang and held hostage in Ann Jones Inn. This was so the Kellys could derail the train tacks and no warning of the trap towards the police and their special train coming from Melbourne. As the day wore n, and no police train appeared along the tracks, the tense atmosphere developed, and by late night, it appeared that there would be no train. The police train finally left Melbourne for Beechworth in North East Victoria, at 10pm, with police, horses and blacktrackers.

1891 - Floods destroyed property from Wagga Wagga to Queanbeyan, NSW.

1905 - The newspapers were full of the news that 3 West Oz Aboriginal men had been arrested, while a 4th escaped, after the discovery of two skeletons alleged to have been white fellas, while between 9 and 12 murders were being attributed to these men.

1909 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1911 - Australia's first military academy, Duntroon, opened within the Australian Capital Territory.

1916 - Those farmers in Yanac were mighty pleased with the opening of the Yanac-a-Yanac Railway Branch Line (Vic) from Lorquon.

1925 - The Mildura Railway Line (Vic) was stretched a little longer when it was extended from Merbein to Yelta...and became the Yelta Railway Line.

1927 - When the Duke and Duchess of York finally got home after their tour of Or-stray-lia they had 3 tons of gifts for their little girl, Elizabeth. Bet that copped them a fair fine for over-weight luggage!

1934 - Eight Aboriginal prisoners who had been condemned to death in the Darwin Courts for murder of two white prospectors had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment by the Governor-General.

1937 - In Dubbo, western NSW, trade unionist and Aboriginal politician William Ferguson launched the Aborigines Progressive Association, in opposition to the Aborigines Protection Board, after officials of the Board had arbitrarily used their powers to harass Aboriginal people.

1949 A coal strike involving 23,000 miners began. It lasted for seven weeks until Australian military forces were used to break the strike; the first time such a thing had happened in peace-time Australia.

1951 - The Country of Cumberland Scheme, which determines and controls the growth and planning of Sydney, became operational.

1974 - Eighty-e...

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Thursday, 06 December



Conium maculatum, the hemlock or poison hemlock, is a highly poisonous biennial herbaceous flowering plant in the carrot family Apiaceae, native to Europe and North Africa. A hardy plant capable of living in a variety of environments, hemlock is widely naturalised in locations outside its native range.

Conium maculatum is known by several common names. In addition to the English hemlock, the Australian carrot fern and the Irish devil's bread or devil's porridge, the following names are also used: Poison parsley, spotted corobane and spotted hemlock. The dried stems are sometimes called kecksies or kex. Conium comes from the Ancient Greek - kneion: "hemlock". This may be related to konas (meaning to whirl), in reference to vertigo, one of the symptoms of ingesting the plant.

Hemlock is a herbaceous biennial flowering plant that grows to 1.52.5 m  tall, with a smooth, green, hollow stem, usually spotted or streaked with red or purple on the lower half of the stem. All parts of the plant are hairless (glabrous); the leaves are two- to four-pinnate, finely divided and lacy, overall triangular in shape, up to 50 cm long and 40 cm broad. It has been introduced and naturalised in many other areas, including Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The plant is often found in poorly drained soil, particularly near streams, ditches and other watery surfaces. It also appears on roadsides, edges of cultivated fields and waste areas and is considered an invasive species in 12 U.S. states. Poison hemlock flourishes in the spring, when most other forage is gone. All plant parts are poisonous, but once the plant is dried, the poison is greatly reduced, although not gone completely.

Conium maculatum is the plant that killed Theramenes, Socrates and Phocion. In ancient Greece, hemlock was used to poison condemned prisoners. Socrates, the most famous victim of hemlock poisoning, was accused of impiety and corrupting the young men of Athens in 399 BC, and his trial resulted in a death sentence. Although Socrates could have avoided death, he decided to take a potent infusion of the hemlock plant.


This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Multi exposure on 35mm film. Image  #0, August-September 2018.... matthew schiavello: photos and words

Multi exposure on 35mm film.
Image  #0, August-September 2018. Negative version
Camera: Nikon FM10
Lens: AI Micro-Nikkor 1:2.8 55m
Film: AGFA CT Precisa 100 (soaked in Window Cleaner and gifted by Walter:
post edit processing by Matthew.


Call to Action (again) matthew schiavello: photos and words




We got Tumblrs attention with our past peaceful protest campaigns

  • Protect the Creators
  • Bring Back Reply
  • Protest against hate speech
  • Bring Back Arch Atlas

Maybe it is time we use our beloved Tumblr to protest this sexist policy that marks female nipples as porn. Tumblr is being extreme in what its decision and policies, and is using a useless algorithm that sees Rothko paintings (see @dailyrothko) and flowers and all kinds of non-porn images as porn.

So, on Monday, 12-17-18, we should not post anything on Tumblr, except the above photo, which is available here. NOTE: You can also add these to your avatar to let anyone who visits your site know about this.

As this post suggests, if we have a queue with images, we should add this one to 12-17-18. As part of our protest, we should not do anything on Tumblr for the whole day: no dashboard, no posts, no comments, chat, replies. We should also, as recommended by @jtmportland, we should also completely log out to show a physical drop in traffic/use.

Nothing on Tumblr, all day, M, 12-17-18. Even log out completely for the day so there is a drop in traffic/use.

Also, please think about putting @staff & @support on any and all reblogs of this and any on any posts about this, since this will send them a direct notification of each and every post about this. We need to flood their dashboards so they see we are upset.

Also, please use the staff and support tags.

Again, here is the link to the above sign:

@staff @support

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Sunday, 24 June


Resumption of services. As if! VICTORIA_STREET

Forgive me followers for it has been far too long between posts. 

There are many things to be said about relocation, you have a fair idea what to keep and what to discard, you also have a similar opinion about other stuff, and then you have to prove once again that you are not a hoarder. 

It is the eternal dispute of what needs to stay, and what has to go. 

At the moment, I feel like those certain blokes who attempted to impose their ideals across Western Europe. That is, if you take on more than one onerous task at one time, more than likely it's going to end in tears. 

The layout does reside indoors, while the workshop space is out the shed. 

I have relocated the layout, but!!!

It has seems that storage and time has been somewhat unkind to reliable running.  Also at the same time, the rollingstock has somehow suffered the same issue. 

I have cleaned the tracks, cleaned the wheels on rollingstock, and still, have encountered some serious issues with reliability. 

For some reason.....

The lights on the racecourse module will not work when connected to the rest of the layout, yet will work independently in test mode. 

The 'up' track from the racecourse terminus is as dead as a door nail, yet works again when tested independently.

Rollingstock, such as all of my W class have become so unreliable, that it seems all will have to be overhauled in regards to pick ups, lights and cv adjustments.  


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Friday, 22 June


June 22 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1788 - "Slight shock of earthquake in the newly formed settlement of Sydney Cove. It did not last more than two or three seconds. It was felt by most people in camp, and by the Governor himself, who heard at the same time a noise to the south, and which he took at first to be the report of guns fired at a great distance.  The earth teemed with sulphurous odour for some time after."

1829 - John Slack (alias York) was hanged at Sydney for putting in fear and burglary at the house of Timothy Beard at Cabramatta.

1838 - Col William Light spat the dummy and resigned as Surveyor-General of South Australia, after being refused additional staff and being ordered to use an inexact method of survey.

1842 - The Imperial Waste Lands Act increased the minimum price of land in all the Australian colonies to 1 acre - half the proceeds to be used to encourage migration. Wakefield, Torrens & Hutt's plan from the SA Foundation Act of 1834, is to be half adopted in the other colonies i.e. NSW WA & Tas.

1846 - The Eastern Market was opened in Melbourne right alongside the Female Peniteniary ; the Eastern Market site later hosted The Southern Cross Hotel where the Fab Four stayed during the Melbourne leg of their Oz tour but, sadly for them, there were no longer any caged females screaming next door....

1854 - The news finally reached Oz about the outbreak titled the Crimean War, which gave rise to fears of attack on Oz by the Russian Navy....which in turn led to the night When The Russians Didn't Invade Victoria.

1854 - Sir Charles Hotham plonked himself into the post of Governor of Victoria.
And then the rot set it.

1863 - Roll up, Roll up! The City of Churches aka Adelaide was sparkling like a hazy diamond in the night when the city was illuminated by gas.

1884 - A simple lesson for men to change their socks more often!!! Henrietta Dugdale and Annette Bean had been darning too many socks for the menfolk - their heads had obviously been turned (as had possibly their stomachs) by the odourous smell assaulting their senses so they formed the Women's Suffrage Society in Melbourne on this day.

1889 - Sydney's tallest building, the head office of the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, opened. It stood more than 34 metres above street level.

1892 - During a day of wild weather all over the state of Victoria that caused much damage, a cyclone hit Ballarat resulting in extensive damage to buildings, numerous people were injured and 2 lives were lost.

1892 - Newspapers reported that the unemployment situation was so bad, some families were selling their own clothes to buy food.

1899 - Essendon....

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Wednesday, 20 June


Dumb Things! "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Described as an ultimate bad feminist Amanda Jane Pritchard makes her international debut this August at Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her comedy/cabaret show All The Dumb Things, but not before shows in St Kilda, Sydney and London (as part of Camden Fringe). Coming to you from a backyard somewhere in sunny St Kilda, Amanda Jane []

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Thursday, 14 June


Does ATAR measure more than SES? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

One reason ATAR is criticised is that it tends to reproduce socioeconomic status.

One of ATARs critics complains that it is

more likely to measure the relative wealth of schools, more than a students abilities. In fact, using a students postcode might work just as well.

Similarly, another critic says that ATAR scores align more closely to postcode than they do to human potential.

While ATAR is not this deterministic there are a range of abilities in every part of the SES spectrum its true that ATAR correlates with family background, student home location and school attended (the scale of school effects after controlling for SES  is contested).

But that the ATAR achieved is influenced by a students social background does not mean it isnt measuring something real about likely academic performance.

As the chart below shows, fail rates increase as ATARs go down across the socioeconomic spectrum. For a given ATAR, there is very little difference by SES....


Square triangles Will Type For Food

Thirty six is a square number that is also a triangular number. I don't understand what that means obviously, because I'm not a mathematician, but I'm sure it's very important, especially for our purposes here, because it means, in certain circumstances, squares can be triangles. Thanks, mathematics!

In order to do important research for this important post, I typed in 'square triangle numbers' to Google, a search which I highly recommend everyone does. Not that you'll see much of interest - just a list of numbers. But it's just particularly pleasingly to type in that rather non-sequiturial sequence of words into the search box and see what comes up. It's like hammering a square peg into a round hole, except, of course, the round hole is a triangle and the hole is not a hole, it's just an abstract Platonic concept outside of time and space. (This all reminds me of the time I said to the Baron, "how many holes does a donut have?" and she retaliated with, "what are holes even?", and I said - but NO, we definitely want to go down that rabbit triangle again.)

It must be rather pleasing to be a mathematician, going about, showing that squares are triangles, really, in effect squaring the rhetorical circle, and.... hang on. Mathematically, it turns out, not only can circular numbers be square numbers. But.... 

Automorphic number. In mathematics an automorphic number (sometimes referred to as a circular number) is a number whose square "ends" in the same digits as the number itself.

So circles HAVE TO BE squares. Not only that, but - circular numbers can sometimes be triangular numbers as well as squares (our old friend thirty six is one - six squared!). Whew! I certainly hope the mathematician who decided that gets to go home and eat their four square meals a day. Except that would be sixteen meals and they would die of indigestion, which might not be quite so good for their health. But apart from that I have almost no problem with the concept.

So, to conclude, squares are triangles except when they are circles. And sometimes, they are all three at once. Mathematics, hey? If you can't count on numbers, then....


June 14 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1789 - Poor old Billy Bligh, and a few of his crew, popped into Timor after a not so pleasurable cruise in their open boat lasting 5,800 kms.

1813 -  Coroner (and artist) John William Lewin presided at an inquest into the death of an Aboriginal girl named Nanny Cabbage, who is found dead at Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour). Evidence was given that Nanny and two friends, Norry and Currumburn, had connections with two soldiers from the Barracks and drank their rum. The soldiers, Peter Watson and James Rattray were committed for trial,
but acquitted.

1814 - Aborigines attacked settlers at Bringelly, Airds and Appin to avenge the murder of an Aboriginal woman and two children.

1814 - Revolting convicts - and, ohhhhh, weren't they revolting! - snatched the ship Argo in the Derwent area of Tassie and sailed off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

1825 Van Diemen's Land was separated administratively from New South Wales, it became fully independent in December.

1832 - John Fitzsimmons was hanged at Sydney for arson. (Fitzsimmons set ablaze a stack of wheat at Penrith).

1837 - HMS Buffalo, after being at anchor in Holdfast Bay, South Oz, for six months serving as a home for Governor Hindmarsh, set sail for Sydney.

1851 Gold discovered at the Turon River, New South Wales, the diggings became the richest in New South Wales.

1875 - The railway line between Ipswich and Brisbane (QLD) was officially opened. The line was not quite finished; the railway station buildings at Brisbane and several suburban stations were unfinished. The bridge over the Brisbane River at Indooroopilly, which was to supply the missing link, was incomplete, and passengers and goods were conveyed across the river in a punt.

1883 - The bridge over the large puddle of water known as the Murray River was completed at Albury-Wodonga and finally linked the NSW and Vic railways.

1899 - The first official visit of a British Team representing all the four Home Unions, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, now known as the first British Lions to tour Australia and New Zealand.
Todays match results -
British Lions 11 v Central South 3 at Goulburn

1890 - Battery operated trams began puddling about in Bendigo; these didn't have enough oomph for the Bendigo hills so were replaced by steam engines in 1892. But on a downhill run and with a tail wind, they'd still outrace the Metro express from Flinders St - South Yarra.

1893 - Edward Smedley was hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of his wife Phoebe at Qurindi. This hanging was mishandled and Smedley suffocated to death on the rope.

1907 - The Ballarat Art School was transferred to the School of Mines Ballarat (SMB).



Foodora taken to court over gig economy underpayment "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Contributed from Victoria

Gig economy food delivery giant Foodora is going to court over allegations of under payment of three riders.

The case will be heard in the Federal Court in Sydney on 10 July.

Legal action has been initiated by Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James, claiming the riders had been engaged as independent contractors, but did the work of employees.

This is an important case, where if the company is found guilty, it will throw doubt on the legality of the increasingly widespread practice.

In this instance, the case involves the non-payment of a significant part of the wages that would have occurred if the three had been engaged as employees.

Two of the alleged victims, worked for Foodora in Melbourne and the third in Sydney, during 2015 and 2016.

The Ombudsman explained in a press release, that the office has examined the nature of the relationship between Foodora and the three workers, using the following factors.

  • the level of control, supervision and direction Foodora exercised over the workers hours, location and manner of work;
  • the requirement for the workers to wear a Foodora-branded t-shirt and use food storage boxes and/or bike racks supplied by Foodora;
  • Foodora paid the workers fixed hourly rates and/or amounts per delivery and the workers did not negotiate their rates of pay at any time; and
  • each of the workers was not genuinely conducting their own delivery business, in that they: did not advertise or promote their availability to perform deliveries to the public; did not delegate their delivery duties with Foodora to any other person; and did not have their own customer base, business premises and insurances.

Because of this, the three were entitled to receive wages that are appropriate for an employee in the industry.

If the Federal Court rules against Foodora, it could have fines of up to $54,000 for each case. The court also has the power to order the company to back pay the workers the outstanding money.

Other food delivery gig economy companies, such as, Uber Eats and Deliveroo, are  using the independent contracting label to undercut wages as well. Uber found itself before the Central London Employment Tribunal in 2016 for the same practice and ordered to provide the same rights as regular employees.

There has been growing concern over the rise of the gig economy in Australia. Gig work is where people are engaged via the use of digital technology...

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Wednesday, 13 June



We're proud to announce the return of Avantwhatever Festival in 2018!

Held 4-8 July in Melbourne showcasing contemporary experimental music in its various guises. All the events are FREE, however due to venue capacities booking is essential.

Featured artists include:

Richard Kamerman (USA)
Stephen Cornford (UK)
Radu Malfatti (Austria)
Jason Kahn (Switzerland)
Pia van Gelder
Sam Bruce
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Bonny Cassidy
Mel Deerson
Jacqui Shelton
Fjorn Butler
Emily Morandini
Judith Hamann
Polly Stanton
Dale Gorfinkel
Alex Garsden

Full details at:

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Tuesday, 12 June


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #598 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: 12 - 18 June 2018 Newsletter | #598 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 12th June 2018 to Monday 18th June 2018 Nillumbik Open Cellars Weekend 2018 Very Special Kids Fashion Sale Art with Heart The Big Bubble Show! Spanish Block Party Maos Last Dancer | the Exhibition Where to watch World Cup in Melbourne Denfair - Furniture and Design Fair Willy Lit Fest 2018 Melbourne Truffle Weekend I Love Coriander Weekend Friday Nights @ NGV Maos Last Dancer | the Exhibition Chand Raat Eid Festival Enjoy Spanish Block Party Wine tastings, street food, boot sale, furniture sale, dancing lessons, DJs and Flamenco performers, free Sangria, fortune tellers and Tarot card readers Spanish Block Party | Spanish Club Hogar Espaol 59-61 Johnston Street, Fitzroy Nillumbik Open Cellars Weekend June 16th and 17th 2018 Visit family-owned wineries in the Artisan Hills region of the Nillumbik Shire for a weekend of great wine great food and live music. Nillumbik Open Cellars Weekend | Flyer (PDF) Very Special Kids Fashion Sale The VSK sale is on Saturday 16 June (9am-3pm) for a shopping spree with clothing jewellery and accessories at up to 90 per cent off the retail price. Very Special Kids Fashion Sale | Malvern Town Hall Very Special Kids | Art with Heart Join us Thursday 14 June 2018 for an exhibition and auction with live music fine food wine and champagne. Very Special Kids | Art with Heart | Book Now Furniture and Design Fair 12,000 sqm of pure design with over 350 curated design brands and artists on display for one day only on Saturday 16th June 2018. Denfair 2018 | Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Where to watch World Cup in Melbourne France v Australia LIVE | Saturday 16 June from 7pm FIFA World Cup 2018 Willy Lit Fest 2018 Saturday 16th June 2018 - Sunday 17th June 2018 - Across Williamstown The biggest literary event in Melbournes West celebrates its 15th year with a line-up of 80 local and interstate writers and performers. Williamstown Literary Festival 2018 Melbourne Truffle Weekend 2018 Join us for a free weekend of festivities at Queen Victoria Market on 16 and 17 June featuring Melbournes best truffle tastes, cooking demonstrations, truffle products, truffle dog hunts, bar, snacks and live music. Melbourne Truffle Weekend | Queen Victoria Market I Love Coriander Weekend You either love it or you hate it. For one weekend only, were for the Corie Lovers! I Love Coriander Weekend | The Ascot Lot | Food Truck Park Friday Nights @ NGV NGV Friday Ni...

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Sunday, 10 June


June 10 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1770 - Jimmy Cook was bobbing about in his boat when the Endeavour found the Great Barrier Reef the hard way.

1770 -  Jim Cook waxed lyrical about the inlet he knighted as Trinity Bay...
"The shore between Cape Grafton and Cape Tribulation forms a large but not very deep bay which I named Trinity Bay after the day Trinity Sunday on which it was discovered."
 Cook hauled his tub, the HM Bark Endeavour into Mission Bay, at the southern end of Trinity inlet, and went ashore for a short time with Sir Joseph Banks near the present site of the Yarrabah Aboriginal community.

1812 - The ship Campbell Macquarie had a nasty mischief on Macquarie Island and fell to bits.

1817 - Lachlan, of the Gov Macquarie flavour, was aghast at the shocking state of the Sydney-Parramatta road after a deluge or 3 washed it into a series of pot holes so he sashayed over to the Strong Work Gangs, selected 3 of the same and set them forth to whip the roads into a decent shape.

1824 - Governor Brisbane requested of the Colonial Secretary, Bathurst, that a troop of colonial cavalry be raised not only with a view of keeping the Aborigines in check against whom Infantry have no chance of success, but also for the general Police of the Country. The strength of the troop was to be 29 men and three officers.55 This was the foundation of the Mounted Police.

1834 - In April 1834 Aboriginal resistance leader, Calyute, also known as Kalyute, Galyute or Wongir, had led a raid on a flour mill near Perth; the raiders were captured by troopers  during which Calyute was bayoneted and the others wounded by gunfire. They were taken to Perth where, despite their injuries, they were flogged in the main street, Calyute receiving sixty lashes. As the raiders' ringleader, he was confined at Fremantle prison until this day.

1835 Australia's first political party, the Australian Patriotic Party, was founded.

1838 - A group of white settlers murdered 28 Aboriginal men, women and children near Myall Creek Station in northern New South Wales, near Bingara. Seven of the killers were tried and hanged.

1854 - Bushranger Mad Dan Morgan, although not yet known by this moniker as he was waltzing about the shop as jockey "John Smith:, was sentenced to twelve years hard labour for highway robbery at Castlemaine.

1860 - Congregational minister and journalist George Wight flung open the substantial Wharf Street Chapel in Brisvegas.

1867 - All the 'Rat gossip on hand, Gents!
Today saw the Very First Ever issue of the celebrated fish wrapper the Ballarat Courier.

1867 - Poet Adam Lindsay Gordon's first volume of poetry, Ashtaroth, was first published for the great unwashed masses who apparently didn't appreciate it.


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Friday, 08 June


How predictive is ATAR of university results? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In response to my Grattan Institute colleague Ittima Cherastidthams op-ed supporting ATAR, Victoria University VC Peter Dawkins and Professor Yong Zhao argue in The Australian that

The focus on maximising the ATAR through Year 12 exams, however, tends to lead to coaching of exam technique, so students memorise answers to questions that are designed to promote critical thinking.

Coaching can boost student results. I suspect it is one reason that students from private and selective government schools tend to slightly under-perform at university relative to students with the same ATARs from non-selective government schools.

If it was just coaching that explained ATARs, they would not have any predictive value for future academic performance at university, which does not offer school-level hand-holding, and at which students take sometimes quite different subjects. But ATAR does have predictive value.

As the chart below shows, as ATARs go down students become more likely to fail half or more of their subjects in first semester a fail rate that will send them to the unsatisfactory progress committee unless improved.


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Thursday, 07 June


How big an obstacle is low ATAR to university admission? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In response to my Grattan Institute colleague Ittima Cherastidthams op-ed supporting ATAR, Victoria University VC Peter Dawkins and Professor Yong Zhao say in The Australian that

good universities should be able to reduce the impact of ATAR on students futures by providing education opportunities to those who, for all sorts of reasons, did not achieve high ATARs in school. When universities simply continue the trajectory set by ATAR, they fail their mission to change lives, to alleviate the impact of inequity and to lift people out of the conditions they are born into.

There is no doubt that people with high ATARs are much more likely to be at university than those with low ATARs. To a substantial extent, this is because they are more likely to apply, as the chart below shows.

application levels



Is ATAR bad for school education? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The ATAR wars entered another round yesterday, with Victoria University VC Peter Dawkins and Professor Yong Zhao responding in The Australian to my Grattan Institute colleague Ittima Cherastidthams op-ed supporting ATAR.

This debate can get confusing, because semi-related arguments are blurred together.

The most impassioned opposition to ATAR seems to be about its claimed effects on schools. As Dawkins and Zhao say,

it is a sad indictment of our education system that maximising ATAR is the primary focus for far too many students, rather than following passions and preparing for the future by developing their talents.

Even though they later question whether ATAR is a good predictor of success, they could  accept that ATAR is useful in university admissions and still oppose it, on the grounds that the cost of ATAR to school education exceeds the value of its benefits to higher education.

I am sceptical of the idea that abolishing ATAR would let more students follow their passions (passions perhaps; but I prefer interests as encompassing a wider variety of emotional  commitments), or prepare them better for the future.

ATAR meets a university need that will not go away. Some kind of selection rank system is needed for distributing student places when demand exceeds supply for a particular course. So the question is not whether ATAR  has flaws or some undesired consequences, but how ATAR compares to its likely alternatives.

The most obvious alternative to ATAR are general ability tests like the American SAT and/or additional exams related to course disciplines.  While schools would maintain purposes other than maximising student results for university tests, the general effect of these would be to give universities more de facto control than now over curriculum, at least in the schools where most students want to go to university (this would lower the status of other schools, which would risk being seen as teaching a curriculum that lacked intellectual rigour, and as producing results that were not reliable or transparent).

By contrast, ATAR does not determine the curriculum. Its purpose is to, as much as is possible, create a selection rank for people who have taken different subjects (followed their passions?) and/or have been through different education systems (the states, the IB), which can emphasise different things (preparing better or worse for the future) or use different teaching methods. ATAR...

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Saturday, 02 June


I went full photo nerd for the 100th issue of @photofilemagazine... Steven Rhall | Blog

I went full photo nerd for the 100th issue of @photofilemagazine in an interview with the lovely Maree Clarke earlier this year. Thanks @axelent for sending a copy #fullphoto #photocentric

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Wednesday, 05 December



Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (18371901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.

Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately 105 kilometres west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth most populated inland city in Australia. The estimated urban area population is close to 100,000 inhabitants. It was named by Scottish settler Archibald Yuille who established the sheep run called Ballaarat in 1837 with the name derived from local Wathaurong Aboriginal words for the area, balla arat, thought to mean "resting place". The present spelling was officially adopted in 1996.

Ballarat is one of the most significant Victorian era boomtowns in Australia. Just months after Victoria was granted separation from New South Wales, the Victorian gold rush transformed Ballarat from a small sheep station to a major settlement. Gold was discovered at Poverty Point on 18 August 1851 and news quickly spread of rich alluvial fields where gold could easily be extracted. Within months, approximately 20,000 migrants had rushed the district. Unlike many other gold rush boom towns, the Ballarat fields experienced sustained yields.

Proclaimed a city in 1871, Ballarat's prosperity continued until late in the 19th century, after which its importance relative to both Melbourne and Geelong rapidly faded with the slowing of gold extraction. It has endured as a major regional centre hosting the rowing and kayaking events from the 1956 Summer Olympics. It is the commercial capital of the Central Highlands and the largest city in the Goldfields region of Victoriaa significant tourist destination. Ballarat is known for its history, culture and its well preserved Victorian era heritage.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.



paullorenz: paullorenz: Paul Lorenz Evanston Art Center Evanston, Illinois Linear Stream November... matthew schiavello: photos and words



Paul Lorenz

Evanston Art Center

Evanston, Illinois

Linear Stream November 16 - December 21

There is still time to see my solo exhibition, Linear Stream, before the closing on December 21!


matthewschiavello: Variations on a theme:... matthew schiavello: photos and words


Variations on a theme: Exhibition


Something older


NEXT TIME YOURE IN "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

A travel lover's gastronomic world tour!

The post NEXT TIME YOURE IN appeared first on The Westsider.


Clement Meadmore, a mid-century modern hipster Black Mark

With his well-groomed full beard and neatly barbered hair Clement Meadmore looked like a hipster. Except this was in 1950s Melbourne. In the photograph he is sitting on a mid-century modernist chair, one of his earliest designs, the steel rod and corded dining chair created in 1951.


Clement Meadmore: The art of mid-century design at the Potter Museum of Art is a survey exhibition about Meadmore as a designer rather than a sculptor for which he is better known. Dean Keep and Jeromie Mavers exhibition starts with Meadmore entering Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT) and ends in 1963 with the last chair he designed, his leather Sling Chair, and his moving to NYC to do abstract sculpture. It focuses on Meadmores furniture design along with his interest in jazz and his early sculpture development.

It is also a look at how modern Melbourne was created. Meadmores design of the Legend Espresso and Milk Bar at 239 Burke Street, chairs, lamps and decor. Including seven large abstract paintings by Leonard French that glow with radiant colours. French also designed the matchbooks, menus and cups for the Legend. This exhibition is a must-see for anyone enthusiastic about the early Australian jazz scene. Meadmore had more than just a passing interest in jazz, a photo of him playing the washboard in 1952 with thimbles on his fingers. A wall of record covers that he designed for Swaggie Records.

Meadmores designs were practical and pragmatic both for the designer, manufacturer and the consumer. It was important for the designs to be practical for the manufacturer because often he and his wife were making the machine-made modern aesthetic by hand out the back of their shop. It was an efficiency and pragmatism that he continued with his sculptures that could be transported in shipping containers.



PETITION (TUMBLR 18+) matthew schiavello: photos and words



Sign this petition on

Make Tumblr rescind their Adult Content Ban



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Wednesday, 30 May


Will extra-curricular admission requirements improve low SES access to the ANU? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The Australian National University has announced some big changes to the way it admits domestic school-leaver students.

Although there a few hints in their public statements, its not really clear to me why they are doing this. Despite the current anti-ATAR bandwagon, my view is that generally using ATAR-based admissions sets a high benchmark  that alternatives need to meet or exceed.

At the ANU end of the student market, one benefit of ATAR, of identifying students at high risk of failure and attrition, is not highly relevant. With a floor ATAR of 80 for most students the risk of not completing is low.

What ATAR is used for in the more selective institutions is as a fair and efficient way of rationing places in high-demand courses. ATAR is meaningfully linked to the course; it is an academic measure for an academic project. Prerequisite subjects, and performance in those subjects, are good rationing tools.  Specialised aptitude tests are also a relevant way of choosing between otherwise similar applicants.

The main new academic requirement under the ANU plan is that from 2022 all students will need Year 12 maths as well as English to be admitted. That might be designed to encourage more students to do maths, but in practice it will limit the pool of applicants.  Its hard to see how maths is essential for must humanities or writing-based subjects.

The main new information that ANU applicants will have to provide is information on their extra-curricular activities. VC Brian Schmidt seems to think that this is an access measure:...

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Tuesday, 29 May


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #596 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online Whats On | 29 May - 4 June 2018 Newsletter | #596 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 29th May 2018 to Monday 4th June 2018 Good Food and Wine Show Melbourne Magic Festival Australian Gymnastics Championships Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival Micadors Warehouse Sale Mozarts Don Giovanni Dine With Heart 2018 Eat Street Night Markets Festival of Steve 2018 Knox Active Ageing Expo 2018 Mabo Day Melbourne International Jazz Festival QUIT | World No Tobacco Day 2018 Round She Goes Fashion Market The Long Walk 2018 | Walk to the G TroPro Tradeshow 2018 Enjoy Good Food and Wine Show 2018 1 - 3 June 2018 | Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Citi is excited to offer an exciting line-up of good food features to discover, taste, share and enjoy. Good Food and Wine Show 2018 Melbourne Magic Festival The Melbourne Magic Festival casts its spell across Melbourne from July 2 to 14 and promises to take you to the extreme end of visual theatre with over 300 performances of 65 different shows. Melbourne Magic Festival 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships Gymnastics Australia is thrilled to invite you to Melbournes Hisense Arena for the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships. Australian Gymnastics Championships 2018 | Hisense Arena Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival Celebrate food traditions 26 May - 4 June 2018 across Darebin. Darebin Homemade Food and Wine Festival 2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival The 2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival will electrify the city this winter with an extraordinary program of international jazz greats. Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2018 Micadors Warehouse Sale - up to 85% off Friday 1st June: 10am - 3pm | Saturday 2nd June: 10am - 2pm Micadors huge warehouse sale is on again with prices from a low $1 on a huge range of Arts Crafts Stationery and Gifts Micadors Warehouse Sale | 4/132 Bangholme Road Dandenong South Mozarts Don Giovanni - Lets Rock and Roll An opera fusion production of Mozarts Don Giovanni fused with the best classic rock of all time at the CORNER HOTEL on Sunday 3rd June 2018. Mozarts Don Giovanni | Corner Hotel | Get Tix Festival of Steve An annual celebration of Melbournes modern men, The Festival of Steve showcases local designers, retailers, purveyors of classic merchandise, stylists and outfitters to celebrate the modern, stylish gentleman. Festival of Steve 2018 | The Kelvin Club ** Coming Soon ** Nillumbik Open Cellars Weekend June 16th and 17th 2018 Visit family-owned wineries in the Artis...

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Monday, 28 May


A year on, the key goal of Uluru statement remains elusive "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The statement is a proposal of constitutional reform that would establish
a constitutionally enshrined First Nations representative body to advise parliament
on policy affecting Indigenous peoples and
commit Australia to a process of truth-telling of its colonial history
through the establishment of a Makarrata commission.

Calla Wahlquist
@callapilla 26 May 2018 

While politicians have been demeaning it,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been having their own discussions.

The Uluru statement canvas, escorted by Uluru delegate and
Torres Strait man of Badhulgau and Kulkalaig heritage Thomas Mayor,
has traversed the northern half of the country and made its way down the east coast to Melbourne,
stopping in at community meetings, festivals, morning teas and business gatherings.

Its a slow, grassroots process, funded thanks to Mayors role as the
NT branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia
although strictly its outside the unions remit
but the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.

I still have hope because Ive been travelling around with the Uluru statement
and everywhere I go theres more and more support, he said.

I see momentum building.
And when you explain to people how many similar moments of hope
there have been throughout our history and how we have continued to struggle,
and how this particular time were not going to take no for an answer,
and how this statement is just going to keep travelling until we get what we seek,
I think that we can get enough pressure there so that
those aspirations can be achieved.

Other working groups have been convened across the country.
On Saturday the statement and Mayor will be in Turnbulls Sydney harbourside electorate of Wentworth,
one of the wealthiest in Australia, for a door-knocking campaign aiming to convince people to
lobby their local member to change his mind.

They will also aim to counter misinformation about the proposal,
which Mayor said is easily done once people hear the true intent
behind the proposed reforms.

Read more of Callas extensive, thought-provoking & interesting article:


Noble Caledonia Limited changes its mind about Port of Yamba-Clarence River? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne", 27 May 2017

Noble Caledonia Limiteds Australian Coastal Odyssey twenty-two day cruise from 9-31 October 2018 - flying from London to Cairns to Port Moresby, then sailing through the Torres Strait and down the east coast of Australia to berth in Melbourne before returning home on 31 October - is still being advertised online and it just got a lot cheaper.

In an apparent effort to fill cabins aboard the vessel MV Caledonian Sky, the UK-based cruise line is now offering across-the-board discounts of 1,000 per two-person cabin.

There has also been a change in the ships itinerary for Day 16 - 24 October this year.

All mention of entry into Port of Yamba-Clarence River was removed from the cruise line's website sometime between 21 and 27 May and, Trial Bay, South West Rocks inserted instead for both its October 2018 Australian Coastal Odyssey and October 2019 Australian Coastal Discovery east coast cruises.

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Sunday, 27 May


May 27 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1792 -  A convict was killed while digging wells at Prospect Hill on the road from Parramatta. He had thirty spear wounds in his body, his head was cut open and most of his teeth were knocked out.

1792 - It is an invariable rule with them [the people of this country] to Kill the first White man they can in revenge, the newly arrived Judge Advocate William Atkins commented in his journal.

1801 The French cartographic expedition of Nicolas Baudin sighted Cape Leeuwin.

1815  - Australian politician and the 'Father of Federation', Sir Henry Parkes, was born.

1833 - Edward Green was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Edward Edwards at a shop in Pitt St.

1837 - Robert Hoddle, first Government Surveyor arrived in Melbourne.

1864 - South Australian Register reduced its cover price: 4d to 3d.

1869 - The Main South Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1869 - Bushranger Harry Power and his off-sider, a young chap by the name of Ned Kelly, were suspiciously loitering around the horses at Mt Battery Station and were shot at by Dr Rowe. How cynical of the good doctor!

1874 - Windich Springs, north-west of the Frere Range, was discovered and named on this day by John Forrest for his good friend Tommy Windich, Aboriginal tracker and explorer.

1879 - Aussie Opera singer Frances Amy Lillian Sherwin, the "Tasmanian Nightingale", began her five-week season with the Strakosch Company. Despite having just recovered from pneumonia, she sang Violetta in La Traviata and her voice was praised for its great range.

1897 - The mummified bodies of Australian explorers Charles Wells and George Jones were discovered by Laurence Wells and Dervish Bejah.

1901 - Wandee (or Wantee) A South Sea Islander who was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol for the murder of Alfred Burnstead near Townsville.

1915 - The railway line from Swan Hill to Piangil (Vic) was opened.

1920 - The Prince of Wales, who later changed his name by deed poll to become King Edward VII, arrived in Melbourne on HMS Renown, forgoing the transporter beam from the mothership for his tour of the Aussie states.
The 26-year-old travelled overland from Adelaide to Wallangarra, on the Queensland border. The royal visitors were provided with a varied programme of kangaroo and emu hunting, buckjumping, with exhibitions of shearing etc. Hugely popular, the Prince of Wales left Australia on 18 August 1920.

1924 - The North Shore Railway Line (NSW) was closed.

1930 - A committee of four experts was appointed to inquire into the workings of the South Australian Railways.

1967 - An Australian referendum recognised more Aboriginal rights as equal citizens.

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Friday, 25 May


Antony Loewenstein: The Independent Australian Journalist Everyone Should Follow "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

If youre wondering who to trust in a world of fake news and corporate media, you could do a lot worse than Australias own Antony Loewenstein, one of our nations most fiercely independent writers.

Loewenstein recently released a major film, Disaster Capitalism, which has screened around the world, including in Australia. It should be required viewing for anyone with an interest in social justice.

Loewenstein has been a long-time supporter and writer for New Matilda. Below is the latest on what hes been up to.

At a time of global instability, courtesy of Trump, proxy wars, xenophobia and a range of other ills, how we document these movements is vital. US radio program On The Media covers the far-right and how journalists should tackle the rise of white nationalist extremism in the age of Trump.

My recent work:

Investigation in the Sydney Morning Herald/Melbourne Age into the strange case of accused sexual predator Malka Leifer and her court case in Israel.

My film Disaster Capitalism with New York film-maker Thor Neureiter continues to screen across the world including in New York, Australia, UK, Pakistan (Islamabad and Karachi) and beyond. Many more events to come. Heres the Q&A after the US premiere at Columbia University with director Neureiter plus a range of experts on the aid sector and my appearance at a screening in Newcastle, north-east Britain.

You can organise a screening, all details here.

Some of my recent interviews about the film: Melbourne radio Triple R interview, interview in Australian outlet Crikey and NGO Aid Watch analysis.

Pink Floyds Roger Waters recently toured Australia and spent one night in Melbourne in conversation with Palestinian writer Randa Abdel-Fattah and me about politics and Palestine. Heres the full video.


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Monday, 21 May


The first art museums collected all sorts of... Steven Rhall | Blog

The first art museums collected all sorts of beautiful functional objects previously used for religious rites, interior decoration, or manifestations of personal wealth, and exhibited them as works of art, that is, as defunctionalized autonomous objects set up for the mere purpose of being viewed. Boris Groys.
Im excited to announce DEFUNCTIONALISED AUTONOMOUS OBJECTS will be presented by @thesubstation in October this year as part of both their 2018 commissioning program and this years @melbfestival. This project has been made possible with the support of @creative_vic (and a whole bunch of other people).

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Saturday, 19 May


The Field Show Beside the Yarra

When it opened in 1968, Melbournes National Gallery Victoria made a bold choice for its first exhibition; weird, curious, cutting edge art from a group of young, unknown artists. Welcome to The Field show.

Read about this famous art exhibition on my new site, here.

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Wednesday, 16 May


Grateful to contribute @un_projects current issue concerning... Steven Rhall | Blog

Grateful to contribute @un_projects current issue concerning ideas about decolonisation some of which are driving my current research @monashada. The entire issue is online at Check it out! More details about my contribution are on my website which Ive just relaunched from scratch (yet am still slowly populating link in bio). Thanks @optomefist and @adiosbanana for the open brief / opportunity, Katherine Botton, Mum for use of the scanner and @ahoyjess who assisted in making Cory. Cool also to find a serendipitous link in materiality with fellow contributor @deean.cross cheers bruz #decolonize #discourse #TehchingHsieh

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Tuesday, 15 May


More bums on seats "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Sydney headcount surges

I was down in Sydney this morning for a meeting.

Now first up let's say that there are more than enough people hooting about Sydney's transport challenges right now, without me adding to the rapidly growing chorus! 

But the truth is that the blinkin' light rail project can't be finalised soon enough.

The construction itself is causing disruption all along the route, and the bus routes out to Uni-land and beyond are, shall we say, well patronised...

And yet, Sydney, we just can't stay mad at you.

It seems I'm not alone in this dilemma, as Australia becomes more and more popular with permanent & long term migrants and tourists from Asia. 

There was a bear case for Australian housing that predicted immigration would fall precipitously into the construction boom due to a weakening economy, but you can forget all that now.

Rolling annual permanent and long term arrivals blasted out to a new high of 795,600 over the year to March 2018. 

Most permanent migrants to Australia are heading to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, in that order, and overwhelmingly they are opting to remain in the capital cities for the long te...


Infrastructure boom swings north as Queensland hits 5 million "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Infrastructure deficit tackled

An interesting graphic from BIS Oxford Economics charts Australia's infrastructure boom through looking at public sector funded transport projects of $2 billion or more in value.

If you live in Sydney you couldn't help but notice the ramp up in projects since 2015, with the jackhammers rampaging practically around the clock in the harbour city.

And some of those projects have years to run, particularly the massive West Connex, the real cost of which has been estimated at being anywhere from $17 billion to $45 billion, depending on who is controlling the narrative.

Looking forward the infrastructure boom is set to swing elsewhere as stamp duty take in Sydney finally begins its long descent. 

In absolute dollar terms, Victoria is set to experience a significant boost, particularly from the forthcoming $16.5 billion northeast link.

But with Melbourne's construction booming anyway, the shift will be most noticeable in Queensland as a range of transport projects kick off.

These will be supported by other inner Brisbane projects such as the flagship $3 billion plus Queen's Wharf project, and a number of others.

Brisbane boost

Brisbane is attracting interstate migrants and tourists in serious numbers, so these projects will definitely help to give the labour market an overdue boost.

Indeed, Queensland's official population count passed 5 million earlier today, so this is timely news..............


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #594 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: Whats On | 15 - 21 May 2018 Newsletter | #594 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 15th May 2018 to Monday 21st May 2018 RSPCA Million Paws Walk 2018 Buddhas Day and Multicultural Festival Law Week 2018 GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest 2018 Good Beer Week 2018 Arcare Portarlington Community Market Day Mic Conway | Live @ Northcote Social Club This Week in Melbourne Markets and Sales Entertainment Channels Coming Soon Enjoy RSPCA Million Paws Walk 2018 Join over 25,000 people at RSPCAs biggest fundraising event walking at locations across Victoria on Sunday 20 May 2018. RSPCA Million Paws Walk 2018 | Buy Tickets Buddhas Day and Multicultural Festival 10am - 7pm Saturday | 10am - 5pm Sunday 2-day festival celebrating Buddhas birthday through traditional arts, music and cultural performances enhancing community spirit and social harmony. Buddhas Day and Multicultural Festival 2018 | Federation Square Law Week 2018 Law Week offers Victorians the opportunity to find answers to everyday legal issues through informative and fun events. Law Week 2018 | Courts Open Day GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest 2018 18-20 May 2018 | | Royal Exhibition Building With 180 unique festival beers and ciders, GABS brings together the best breweries and cider makers for one specTAPular event. GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest 2018 | Tickets Good Beer Week 2018 May 11 - 20 2018 Grab your diaries and join us for Australias biggest celebration of craft beer at the 8th Good Beer Week. The BEST beer week in the world! Good Beer Week 2018 | Whats On Arcare Portarlington Community Market Day Join us at 80 Willis Street Portarlington for plenty of free activities refreshments music and workshops that the whole family can enjoy. Arcare Portarlington Community Market Day Mic Conway | Live @ Northcote Social Club 2018 is a milestone year for Vaudevillian trickster Mic Conway who is celebrating his 50th Anniversary as a performer. Mic Conway | 50th Anniversary Tour | Buy Tickets This Week ATSA Independent Living Expo, Battle Arena Melbourne 10, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, ILLUMIN8: Festival of Light and Peace, Lavandulas Autumn Harvest Festival, Next Wave Festival, Philippine Street Fiesta, Sleep at the G, Stonnington Jazz Festival View Weekend Guide Markets and Sales Footscray Finds Market, Yarraville Village Craft Market, Divine Little Market, Bohemian Bulla Market, Kensington Market, Mulgrave Rummage and Rescue Market, Seaford Handmade and Homemade Market, Pakenham Community Market, Fitzroy Market, Treasures...

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Monday, 14 May


Art and protest If a tree falls "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Eloise joined our team this year, and writes about her experience as an invited artist, to Tarkine in Motion

This year I attended Tarkine in Motion, ran by the Bob Brown Foundation, who are campaigning for 450 000 hectares of forest and coast to be declared a National Park and World Heritage Area. The event, now in its fourth year, sees artists venture into the north west corner of Tasmania, to document, experience, and be inspired by the beautiful wilderness that is the Takayna/Tarkine.

At the Arthur River camp the first thing I can hear is the distant roar of the ocean. Its the end of the day and sunset isnt far off, but I really want to go down to the waves. Slipping away before anyone can follow me, I crawl through the knotted scrub near the camp, climb over a fence and start following a freshly cleared fire track. In my heavy steel cap boots I run towards the sound of the waves, feeling energised but  also worried that its getting dark. Im not sure if Ill even make it down to the shoreline, the ocean could be much further away than I think, and the fire track seems to be turning away from the beach. I keep running until the short trees give way to low scrub and grass, and then eventually to huge sand dunes, and Im sure that Ill make it. I scare birds and wallabies hiding in the scrub as I run, sending them flying away. I tread a little lighter, listening for the birds whistling away in the tall thick grass. There is a little fresh stream of of water appearing out of nowhere, its course covered in bright green water weed and moss, and I follow it down to where it trickles out onto the beach, running under a huge pile of drift wood. I leap across the pile from trunk to trunk and jump off onto the flat smooth beach, walking down to where the water licks at the sand. Waves are crashing past mammoth boulders far out in the surf,  and the wind roars with the waves. I watch a tiny sand piper shuffle comically along the shoreline, stopping every few meters and eying me off. I feel absolutely joyous, and a laugh escapes me. I walk a little further up the beach to inspect an oddly coloured rock that looks like a seal. I want to stay to play on the piles of massive drift wood piled up at the high tide line, explore the little streams of water running across the sand and sit still for a while to wait for whatever creatures will come by. But its getting close to sunset, and I dont want to be the idiot who gets lost in the dark on day one of Tarkine in Motion.

The main reason I chose to be based at Arthur River, along the coast, was because of the opportunity to connect with the indigenous heritage and culture there, and learn from some Palawa women. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Kings Run, a 338ha coastal property t...

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Tuesday, 04 December



Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland and is located in the state of Victoria. South Point at 390806S 1462232E is the southernmost tip of Wilsons Promontory and hence also the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. Located at nearby South East Point, (3907S 146a25E) is the Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse. Most of the peninsula is protected by the Wilsons Promontory National Park and the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.

The first European to see the promontory was George Bass in January 1798. He initially referred to it as "Furneaux's Land" in his diary, believing it to be what Captain Furneaux had previously seen. But on returning to Port Jackson and consulting Matthew Flinders he was convinced that the location was so different it could not be that land. Bass and Flinders recommended the name Wilsons Promontory to Governor Hunter, honouring Flinders's friend from London Thomas Wilson. Little is known of Wilson except that he was a merchant engaged in trade with Australia.

The promontory has been a national park, to one degree or another, since 1898. Wilsons Promontory National Park, also known locally as "the Prom", contains the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria. The site was closed to the public during World War II, as it was used as a commando training ground. The only settlement within Wilsons Promontory is Tidal River which lies 30 kilometres south of the park boundary and is the focus for tourism and recreation. This park is managed by Parks Victoria.

Wilsons Promontory is home to many marsupials, native birds and other creatures. One of the most common marsupials found on the promontory is the common wombat, which can be found in much of the park (especially around campsites where it has been known to invade tents searching for food). The peninsula is also home to kangaroos, snakes, wallabies, koalas, long-nosed potoroos, white-footed dunnarts, broad-toothed rats, feather-tailed gliders and emus. Some of the most common birds found on the promontory include crimson rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and superb fairywrens. There are also many pests hog deer, foxes, feral cats, rabbits, common starlings, and common blackbirds.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.



Australian soldiers in WW1 with their dogs etc ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Animals made an important contribution to Australias military history during WW1. Homing pigeons were used as a communication tool: they were silent, difficult to intercept and not greatly affected by gas or noise. They could carry messages over long distances, from the Front Line back to Britain [and in turn, the Germans trained hawks to kill any carrier pigeons they saw].

Early in WWI, cavalry horses were considered essential offensive elements of a military force. But over the course of the war, horses vulnerability to modern machine gun and artillery fire reduced their ability on the battlefield. Thereafter they were mainly used for logistical support as better suited than mechanised vehicles to travelling though deep mud and over rough terrain. Light draught horses were used to pull light artillery, wagons and ambulances and to carry supplies and munitions. Heavy draught horses of a sturdier type were teamed together to pull the larger artillery pieces. Donkeys, camels and mules were used to transport soldiers, weapons, ammunition and food.

Simpson walking alongside his donkey,
bearing a wounded soldier, 1915.

Australian soldiers also adopted a variety of familiar animals as mascots and pets. Far from home, the men shipped in wallabies, kangaroos, rabbits, possums, cockatoos and kookaburras, all dependable comrades.

But from my perspective, dogs were always the most important animal- both personally and medically! British families gave their pet dogs to the army so they could carry messages in special tubes on their collars. And dogs could track the enemy and locate injured soldiers. They were fast, difficult to shoot at, and they also caught rats!

The Germans also made extensive use of messenger dogs, who were considered almost as valuable as men and equally vulnerable to poison gases. Respirators for dogs were therefore created from ersatz fabric which could be soaked in a protective solution. Most dogs would have been reluctant to have the mask put over their muzzles, so the rabbit fur lining may have served as an encouragement.

As the network of trenches spread throughout the Western Front during WWI, so did the number of dogs. Many different breeds of dog were utilised but the most popular were medium-sized breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds because of their superior strength, agility, territorial nature and trainability. Other breeds associated with WWI were Terriers, often employed as ratters, trained to hunt and kill rats in the trenches.

Military dogs fulfilled a variety of roles, depending on their size, intelligence and training. Working dogs were first used by the Royal Australian Engineers in 1918, as messengers in the trenches of France for Australian sappers. Their soldier-controllers were called Military Working Dog Handlers.

Sentry dogs were trained to bark loudly when they perceived an unknown or suspect presence in a secure area eg a camp or military base. Scout dogs, on the other hand, were highly trained and possessed a quiet and disciplined nature. They were used on foot patrol, and utilised their keen sense of smell to detect the enemy, often up to a kilometre away. Unlike sentry dogs, scout dogs were trained to be silent; to stiffen their bodies, raise their hackles and point their tail if the enemy was in the vicinity.

Casualty dogs were tr...


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #623 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week: 4 - 10 December 2018Newsletter | #623 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 4th December 2018 to Monday 10th December 2018 Melbourne Christmas Festival Rehash | Friday Night Live Bogan Bingo | Kyllie Kicks MS for Six Mental As Anything Creedence 50th Anniversary Show Aspire Pakenham Christmas Celebration Weekend Wrap Outdoor Cinema Guide Adults Only Night | LEGOland African Music and Cultural Festival 2018 Australian DanceSport Championships 2018 Big Day Out For Dogs 2018 Carols by Kingston 2018 Cruden Farm | Open Day Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds Hemp Health and Innovation Expo 2018 Kidz Expo 2018 Kriskindl Festival 2018 Melbourne ToyRun 2018 World Rice Festival 2018 Melbourne's Carols By Candelight Monash Carols By Candlelight 2018 Santa's Magical Kingdom 2018 Suitcase Rummage | Northcote Twilight Christmas Festival 2018 Wild Horses Festival 2018 School Of Rock | The Musical Christmas Gift Extravaganza Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds Christmas Gift Shopping New Years Eve Celebrations Enjoy #Melbourne Get [ This Week ] Free by email every Tuesday. Christmas Festival 2018 The annual Christmas festival transforms the city into a magical place and celebrates the spirit of Christmas in true Melbourne style. Federation Square will be transformed into Christmas Square, a magical forest offering festive fun for the whole family. Gingerbread Village at Federation Square. Santa's House Christmas Projections Melbourne's Christmas Festival 2018 Santa's Magical Kingdom 23 November - 23 December 2018 | Caulfield Racecourse The magic of Christmas will come alive at Santas Magical Kingdom with an interactive walk-through adventure land. Santa's Magical Kingdom 2018 | Ticketmaster Christmas Gift Extravaganza Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December 2018 | Cromwell Street Collingwood An Indoor Marketplace where you will find all your ethical Christmas Gift Ideas in one place. Entry is free accepting donations for and Streat. Christmas Gift Extravaganza Bogan Bingo | Kyllie Kicks MS for Six Saturday 8th December 2018 @ Tabcorp Park All funds raised go towards Kyllie who has Multiple Sclerosis. Get your best thongs out, dust your fave flannie off, grab your sheila and get ready for a great night out. Kyllie Kicks MS for Six | Bogan Bingo | Buy Tickets Mental As Anything | Live Friday 7th December 2018 | Kingston City Hall Australia's True Pop Pioneers Mental As Anything, playing all their hits The Nips Are Getting Bigger, If You Leave Me Can I Come Too, Live It Up plus many others. Mental As Anything | Buy Tickets School Of Rock | The Musical Limited Season November & December 2018 | Her Majesty's Theatre ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER'S HIT MUSICAL School Of Rock | The Musical | Friday Night Live Music Licensed Bayswater venue featuring live music every Friday night. Friday 7th - Rehash (Debut at London Eleven) Tickets Friday 14th - Christmas Party with the Marty...



I found a shed feather during a walk in the parklands, and thereafter lots of feathery textures were revealed, but of a vegetable rather than animal origin!

The feather in the far right and clockwise from there: Yellow wattle flower; Tradescantia flower; Clematis seed head; Melaleuca flowers.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

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Sunday, 13 May


May 13 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1756 - The Dutch were having a bit of a Captain Cook around the place, with one ship, the Rijder , having hung about Wednesday Island for a bit waiting to catch up with the ship, Buijs, but which then put out to sea on this day.

1787 The First Fleet choofed off from Portsmouth, England, for New South Wales, with the intention of establishing the first European settlement in Australia.

1789 - John Caesar aka Black Caesar, a convict who obviously didn't like the table service, did a runner into the bush with arms and ammunition.

1811 - Thomas Clough was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Thomas Cooney. After being executed his body was handed over to surgeons for dissection and anatomisation.

1819 - Margaret Catchpole, the infamous female convict who had a few well chronicled adventures, passed into the great beyond.

1837 -   Joseph Bradbury, John Newman, Soloman Wakefield, John Hewitt and David Williams admitted to Newcastle gaol from Merton. To be sent for trial before the Supreme court for robbery.

1837 - Judge Sir John William Jeffcot held the first criminal sessions in the province of South Oz.

1839 - In letters to General Secretaries of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission Society Joseph Orton stressed that Aborigines around Geelong had been reduced to pilfering starving obtrusive mendicants, a tax upon the [European] inhabitants.

1845 - The Portland Bay Examiner fishwrapper ceased to exist after a whopping 4 months.

1855 - The immigrant ship Nashwauk, only 18 months old, and carrying some 300 Irish girls, crashed ashore south of the mouth of the Onkaparinga at about 3 a.m. The passengers were able to be taken off the stricken ship and were cared for by local people. The following morning the steamer Melbourne and Government schooner Yatala were sent from Port Adelaide to pick up the stranded passengers. However, some of the immigrants were reluctant to board ship again and were taken to Adelaide in bullock wagons.

1857 - St Kilda Junction to St. Kilda Railway Line (Vic) opened.

1861 John Tebbutt, of Windsor, New South Wales, tripped over what would become known as the "Great Comet of 1861".

1867 - The first South Sea Islanders arrived aboard the ship "Prima Donna". 70 arrived to start work as indentured labourers on plantations around Mackay.

1870 - Ohhhh the humanity....the Port Adelaide Footy Club was founded in South Oz.

1872 - Alberto Zelman first conducted opera in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre for the performance of Lucia di Lammermoor in the Cagli-Lyster Italian opera season.

1873 -  Customs Officers fired upon Kaiadilt people fishing at Sweers Island.The officers kidnapped a young Aboriginal boy during th...

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Saturday, 12 May


#MCAKIDS DO @biennalesydney 1. Luke 2. @gerglei_1.0 and... Steven Rhall | Blog

#MCAKIDS DO @biennalesydney
1. Luke 2. @gerglei_1.0 and @ezzmonem Vs @marmadukelee & Luke. I forgot who one this one. 3. The artist to watch (even if only leaning on something) @raviavasti 4. @gerglei_1.0 doing Sydney right with French Pastries on arrival 5. Team MCA @mca_australia pre the arrival of some stragglers. 6. The last work I saw and most affecting of the whole trip Tall Man 2010 by @waanjiman (as part of a seperate exhibition).


The Point Nepean Quarantine Station Beside the Yarra

At the tip of Point Nepean, south of Melbourne, is a sprawling reminder of a less advanced era; the citys former Quarantine Station, where many thousands of sick people were interred on arrival.

Read about it on my new website, The Museum of Lost Things, by clicking here...


The St Kilda Sola System Beside the Yarra

Stretched along the St Kilda foreshore, south west of the city, is something unlikely; a to-scale model of our entire Solar System. St Kilda is one of the few places you will find that actually has its own sun.

Read about it on my new website, The Museum of Lost Things, by clicking here...


Liardet's Beach Beside the Yarra

Sailor, artist, businessman and iconoclast, Wilbraham Liardet was one of early Melbournes most unique inhabitants.

Read about him on my new site, The Museum of Lost Things, by clicking here...

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Wednesday, 09 May


West Papua Speaking Tour "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

West Papua Speaking Tour

dates for Lets Talk About West Papua tour

*Tuesday 15 May, 6:30 PM, Brisbane
*Wednesday 16 May, 6:00 PM, Caloundra
*Thursday 17 May, 5:30 PM, Sydney
*Monday 21 May, 6:00 PM, Geelong
*Thursday 24 May, 6:00 PM, Melbourne
*Tuesday 29 May, 6:00 PM, Canberra.
Please pass on through your network if approbate.
Also in Sydney- 2 other events
Women Decolonising Melanesia: Female leadership challenges in West Papua and New Caledonia. (23 May) 

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Saturday, 05 May


Lofita Will Type For Food

I have just learned a most edifying etymological fact: 'Lord' comes originally from the Old English 'Hlafweard': 'One who guards the loaves'. 'Lady', similarly, comes from 'hlfdige': 'one who kneads loaves'. But most piquantly, for me, this prototypical Lord and Lady are paired with a household servant, one 'hlafta': 'one who eats loaves'. She is - in modern English - Loafeater.

What an inspiring figure she cuts, too, back in the swirling mists of time (if you want to create a bit of atmosphere at this point, maybe drag the stage smoke machine out) this Lofita. Let us leave aside this Lord and this Lady for instant, and go to the servants chambers where this primordial Lofita takes her place.

She is of an ancient tribe, is Lofita, a fearsome and savage tribe that has roamed the plains of the northern countries for generations; for so long that the generations have become myth and the myth has become, for her, truth, a tale full of horrifying Gods and Goddesses and wonders and terrors. Lofita is not herself without nobility: many generations afterward, her scions will become a ferocious tribe of Scots, who will be busily at war with her other Scions, a merciless clan of cave-dwelling people who are half-Pict, half-Saxon. The coming of Christianity is still in the unimaginably far future. Lofita, sitting in the darkness here, does not bat an eyelid at the odd human sacrifice here or there. As a matter of fact she is particularly looking forward to the upcoming offering to Wodan next week; with Hlafweard wielding the axe (or whatever primordial weapon the primordial Lord is expected to wield) it promises to be especially bloody.

But what really gets Lofita is bread. Oh, she loves the stuff! Look at her now! She grabs a hunk of stale leftover bread from two days ago and crams it in her mouth - mm, crunchy! It is not for want of food, either: the spring has been good and some Phoenicians (or Etruscans or Bombalians or some other such nonsense) have brought this wondrous new creature over to Lofita's lands in the early spring - its conversation is somewhat limited ('cluck cluck cluck') but it is fat and delicious and will doubtless help to keep the house warm in winter. No, Lofita just loves bread. She grabs a fresh loaf and crams it into her mouth; that will keep her occupied for a few minutes. Just then old fat Loafguard from the other room calls out -

"Lofita! Hast thou finished that primordial tapestry yet?"

No, of course she hath not, but Lofita, being sharp of mind, quickly calls out an excuse - "No, the primordial chook hath crapped upon it and I must needs clean it off" - or she thinks she calls out an excuse. To Loafguard it sounds more like "Mm th mm-mm-oo-mm-al mm-mmm-mmmmmmmmmf!"

That Lofita! Always slacking off on duty!


Architecture in Monet's art.... at the National Gallery London. "IndyWatch Feed"

A fine show, The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture, is running until late July 2018 at the National Gallery London. Until now, most people thought of Claude Monet as a painter of landscape, sea and later, gardens. But not of architecture.

Featuring 75 paintings by Claude Monet (1840-1926), this innovative exhibition spans his long career from the mid-1860s to the public display of his Venice paintings in 1912. As a daring young artist, he exhibited in the Impressionist shows and displayed the bridges and buildings of Paris and suburbs. And later the renowned architecture of Venice and London.

Buildings played important roles in Monets works. They served as records of locations, identifying a village by The Church at Varengeville, Morning Effect 1882 (San Diego Museum of Art), or a city such as The Doges Palace Venice 1908 (Brooklyn Museum) or Cleopatras Needle & Charing Cross Bridge London 18991901 (Halcyon Gall). Architecture suggested modernity: the glass-roofed interior of a railway station eg The Gare St-Lazare 1877 (National Gallery London), whilst a venerable structure, such as The Lieutenance de Honfleur 1864 (priv coll), marked the historic.

Architecture aided Monet with the business of painting. A red-tiled roof could offer a complementary contrast to the dominant green of the surrounding vegetation From the Top of the Cliffs Dieppe 1882, (Kunsthaus Zrich). The textured surfaces of buildings provided him with screens on which light played, solid equivalents to reflections on water Rouen Cathedral 18934 (private coll).

 Claude Monet, La Gare Saint Lazare, 1877 

A man-made structure helped the viewer engage with Monet landscapes. A distant steeple eg The Church at Varengeville 1882 (Barber Institute Fine Arts) or nearby house Gardeners House at Antibes 1888 (Cleveland Museum Art), suggested scale. They helped the viewer read his physical surroundings in terms of distance, destination and the passage of time involved in transit. Architect...

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Thursday, 03 May


National Reconciliation Week: Sat 27/5/18 to Sat 3/6/18 "IndyWatch Feed"

Reconciliation Australia have announced the theme for 2018: Dont keep history a mystery Learn. Share. Grow.

NRW 2018 is a key activity in the Reconciliation Movements strategy to support Australians in making progress in the reconciliation dimension Historical Acceptance. This dimension addresses whether all Australians acknowledge the injustices and actions of the past and their impacts (both historical and contemporary) and are making amends for past wrongs.

This year, NRW invites Australians to Learn, Share, Grow by exploring their past, learning more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and cultures and developing a deeper understanding of our national story.

What is National Reconciliation Week?

National Reconciliation Week is an annual celebration and is a time for all Australians to reflect on our shared histories, and on the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.  The week is framed by two key events in Australias history that provide strong symbols of the aspirations for reconciliation.

NRW runs from Saturday 27 May   Saturday 3 June, bookended by two significant milestones in Australias reconciliation journey: the 1967 Referendum and the historic Mabo decision. 2017 marks 50 years since the 67 referendum, and 25 years since the Mabo decision. This years theme   Lets Take the Next Steps reminds us that all big changes take persistence and courage.

May 27 marks the anniversary of Australias most successful referendum and a defining event in our nations history. The 1967 Referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and recognise them in the national census.

June 3 is Mabo Day  On this day in 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which overturned the notion of terra nullius and legally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples connection to their country, a connection that existed prior to colonisation and continues today. This recognition paved the way for the Native Title system.

What can you do?

Plan events that celebrate and build on respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians and that show how non-Aboriginal Australians can be active supporters of reconciliation.  Some examples of events or activities you could plan for your community include:

  • Public forums on Reconciliation (e.g. at the Town Hall or local library).
  • Aboriginal heritage walks and cultural tours;
  • Film screenings, festivals, concerts, poetry or book readings;
  • Exhibitions, talks or performances by local...

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Monday, 30 April


Bees are terrifying Will Type For Food

Among all the books about beekeeping you can find out there, I feel one point isn't stressed enough: bees are fucking terrifying. It's a difficult point to get your head around, but an important one: would you invite bees to a dinner party? No, because they're fucking terrifying. Would you let them do babysitting for you? Again, no. Terrifying. But here I am in my suburban house with a suburban backyard with a box full of terrifying insects of murderous death a mere five metres or so from here. It's insane. I'm insane. How did things get to this point?

I really feel there could be room in the marketplace for a practical beekeeping book based on this theme, motivating and inspiring new beekeepers in their hobby. This prospective book could cover the practicalities and the history of beekeeping, covering the terrifyingness of bees in comprehensive detail.

Considering the science of the matter, for instance, I find that bees are insects, that glamorous movie star of the animal kingdom. Let's review a few of the films that insects have appeared in: The Fly, in which a man turns into a disgusting and horrifying gigantic beast. The Swarm, in which killer bees go about being bees that kill. On the other hand, who trusts Hollywood? Let's consider literature instead: there's Kafka's Metamorphosis, in which a man turns into a cockroach, to his own terror and disgust.

Literature gives us the example of many famous beekeepers whom we can emulate. One such was Sylvia Plath, who wrote an excited poem about first receiving bees, containing such resonant lines as

I would say it was the coffin of a midget


I lay my ear to furious Latin. 
I am not a Caesar. 
I have simply ordered a box of maniacs. 
They can be sent back. 
They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner. 

I wonder how hungry they are. 
I wonder if they would forget me 
If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree. 
There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades, 
And the petticoats of the cherry.

Sylvia Plath was also insane and killed herself shortly thereafter.

And we haven't even considered the basics of bee sex (violent, and explosive, resulting in the deaths of several drones and one lifelong egg laying slave), the stinging mechanism (kamikaze warfare by bloodthirsty warriors who would be quite satisfied by your death), and so much more.

In conclusion, Bees Are Fucking Terrifying Creatures of Slaughter And Death or maybe it's just that me and the Baron recently did a honey harvest and are still traumatised by it. Who knows.

Image result for bee
Fig 1: Cthulhu in insect form 


Wes Lee "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Interview with Blues musician: Wes Lee Wes Lee, an Americana, Blues, Roots musician from Mississippi, USA. Ahead of his performances in Melbourne, we asked him a few questions. What are you most looking forward to for your visit to Melbourne? Im looking forward to experiencing a culture different from mine. Im also very interested in []

The post Wes Lee appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.


eX-detainees highly condemn artists performed in the #Stolenwealth (commonwealth) games in Australia 2018 and call to boycott such artists. "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

We eX-detainees in Australia strongly condemn those artists who performed in the Stolenwealth aka Commonwealth Games in Australia 2018. We eX-detainees have requested artists to boycott the Commonwealth Games both nationally and internationally on the basis of our community members enduring ongoing abuses in Australia run detention centres for over 2 decades (26 years).

But our request has been regarded with clear disrespect and Australias rape and torture survivors should not have to educate people on this. Artists privileged enough to have such a platform should know that their solidarity should be with the oppressed not with a thieving murderous empire or commonwealth. This was an opportunity to leverage your power for justice but you instead chose fame and money while throwing abused and tortured communities under the bus. What is very interesting is that some of these artists are recognised as progressive and as human rights activists, yet have zero respect for refugees indefinitely detained in Australian detention camps both in and past and at the present. For over 26 years, white Australian refugee policy exists not only because of racist Australian government but also of spineless so-called progressives too.

This systemic abuse of our bodies and livelihood not only exist in detention but also long after we survived. We should not also forget those who are currently held hostage in both onshore and offshore detention camps, including some cases where people have been detained for 10 years without release date.

Therefore, we ask all our national and international followers to BOYCOTT below artists future performances due to their lack of regards for those who survived rape and torture in Australia-run detention centres.

Artist Names / Locations

Meg Mac Melbourne
The Cat Empire Melbourne
Born in a Taxi Melbourne
Regurgitator Melbourne
Confidence Man- Melbourne

Urthboy Sydney
Nina Las Vegas NSW
Icarus Productions Sydney
Hot Dub Time Machine Sydney
Thundamentals Sydney
BlueSkillet Rovers NSW
Eliza & The Delusionals- NSW

Kate Miller Heidke Brisbane
Amy Shark Brisbane
Ella Fence Brisbane
Katie Noonan Brisbane
The Jungle Giants Brisbane
Bullhorn Brisbane
Circa Contemporary Circus Brisbane
Paces Brisbane
Polytoxic dance theatre Brisbabe
Lastlings Brisbane

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Saturday, 28 April

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Thursday, 26 April



The annual Human Rights Arts and Film Festival is right around the corner, and the Castan Centre is proud to be involved as a supporter of HRAFFs Cineseeds human rights poster competition. HRAFFs Evelyn Tadros tell us what else to look out for at this years event. 

By Evelyn Tadros

HRAFF has made it to its 11th year and Im very excited to be sharing this years stellar program with you, thanks to the amazing HRAFF team! HRAFF continues to provide a platform whereby creatives, organisations and the Australian public are brought together by their common desire to contribute to social change.

Below is a list of recommendations especially for those of you who love for those of you type lists!

For those of you who want to avoid serious FOMO (fear of missing out): do NOT miss our Opening Night film After the Apology (Thurs 3 May), a landmark documentary following four indigenous grandmothers who are fighting against the continued practice of forced child removal and bringing the children home. Featuring a Q&A with director Larissa Behrendt and after-party, this is sure to sell-out so get your tix quick!

For those of you who want a different perspective on the refugee crisis, make sure you see World Premiere film, Border Politics (Sat 12 May), which follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside QC as he examines the harsh treatment of refugees metered out by Western democracies; and Another News Story (Sat 12 May), which turns the camera on the journalists covering the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.

For those of you who love music and dance: join us for an enchanting journey with The Song Keepers (Thurs 10 and Sat 12 May) as the Central Australian Aboriginal Womens Choir go on tour to the other side of the world; do not miss local dancer Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimores intimate documentary, Her Sound Her Story (Fri 11 & Sat 12 May) on the significant impact that women have had on the Australian music industry and check out Step (Fri 4 and Sat 5 May), an inspiring true-life story of a group of young women from Baltimore competing to not only win the step championship but to be accepted into college.

For those of you who want to see the political and transformational power of art, check out Guilty (F...

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Tuesday, 24 April


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #591 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: What's On | 24 - 30 April 2018Newsletter | #591 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 24th April 2018 to Monday 30th April 2018 Lest we forget - ANZAC Enjoy ANZAC Day 2018 The 2018 ANZAC Day Dawn Service, marches and remembrance parade takes place on Wednesday 25th April 2018 at Shrine of Remembrance and around Australia. Mt Macedon ANZAC Day Dawn Service ANZAC Appeal 2018 Raise A Glass Appeal 2018 Things To Do On ANZAC Day Aladdin & The Arabian Tales | Sand Sculpting Exhibition - Last Day About ANZAC Day | ANZAC Day Calendar Untold | Reach Foundation 25 of the world's top urban artists | $1 million target Melbourne's most exciting contemporary urban art installation under the Nylex Clock for the Reach Foundation. Untold Melbourne | Reach Foundation | Buy Tickets A Family Affair - Works by JS Bach and Sons Melbourne Musicians present two outstanding soloists flautist Bridget Bolliger and Soprano Sarah Lobegeiger de Rodriguez. Sunday 29th of April 2018 | St Johns Southgate A Family Affair | Tickets Online La Beatles Boheme Emotionworks Cut Opera presents La Beatles Boheme in a tragic love story about two contrasting couples - the tempestuous and the romantic. Concerts 21-29 April | Flagstaff Carpark La Beatles Boheme | Buy Tickets Essential Baby & Toddler Show Friday 27 - Sunday 29 April, 2018 | Royal Exhibition Building Australia's favourite event for new and expectant parents, learn about pregnancy, babies and toddlers and get your hands on the latest goodies. The Essential Baby & Toddler Show 2018 37th Great Train Race Sunday 29th April 2018 | Enter The race is an exciting challenge pitting runners against the steam locomotive, Puffing Billy over 13.5 kilometres from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park. All proceeds to the Menzies Creek Museum redevelopment project. Great Train Race 2018 This Week Queen Victoria Market 140 Years Street Party, Nursing and Health Expo, Abseil Challenge, Battlegrounds | Invitational, Como Fashion Quarter Exhibition, Day of Immunology, East Gippsland Field Days, Grand Theft Impro, Irish Film Festival, Kings Day Party, Cycling Safety Event, Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival, Swedish History Museum Exhibition, Alice in Wonderland Exhibition Weekend Guide Markets & Sales Northside Locals Pop-Up, Coburg Makers and Shakers Market, Maroondah Handicrafts Makers' Market, St Johns East Malvern Family Fete, Secondhand Fashion Market @ Flagstaff Gardens, Tembo Awakening Psychic & Wellbeing Market, Coburg Wellness Market, Little Beauty Market, Friends' Autumn Plant Sale - Royal Botanic Gardens, Little Treasures Market | Lancefield, Yarragon Craft & Produce Market, Market On Chapel | Cowes, Lardner Park Craft Market, Mont De Lancey Country Market + Computer Markets View Market Calendar | Garage Sales Entertainment Art Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Amazing local art | View ART Channel Comedy Smells Like A Song | Impro Melbourne 19 May,...


Mukka Celebrates the Holi Festival with a Colour Throwing Party in a Collingwood Warehouse "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Date: Sunday 29th April Time: 11:30am to 4pm Venue: Second Story Studios, 222 Johnston Street, Collingwood Go Mad with Mukka!  Round up your mates and join Mukka for a Sunday celebration of colour, dance, love and feasting! Don yourself head-to-toe in white for the ultimate colour powder experience and get ready for some feverish and []

The post Mukka Celebrates the Holi Festival with a Colour Throwing Party in a Collingwood Warehouse appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.

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Friday, 20 April


Citizen Train Will Type For Food

The Baron being in Sydney, and the cats being otherwise engaged, I hied me off this afternoon to see a film. There's nothing like a film to be alone in company, as the old saying goes*, though on the other hand, there's nothing like a film for being alone in aloneness either. Which is to say, when I got there, there was absolutely no-one in my theatre at all.

I was so surprised that I had to go back and ask the staff to check if I'd got the theatre right after all. (I had). Not that I was ungratified: to see a film, alone, in an empty auditorium, has long been a life goal of mine. I almost managed it, too, about ten years ago in a cinema in the middle of Melbourne, though another bunch of people showed up halfway through the previews, which I was rather miffed by. (That cinema later closed, which just goes to show, you should never let people into a theatre that has only got Tim in it.) I had better luck this time, as I sat through the previews completely on my own, but of course it did make me rather anxious. What if I didn't want to see a film on my own after all? It felt a little over-grandiose, sitting there in that huge auditorium, having the film screening in front of me.

And then there was the matter of chairs: ludicrously, the cinema staff had made me select my seating - in what I soon had come to discover was a completely empty theatre. I felt no such compunction for sitting in my selected seating: but then, what if someone did waltz in in the middle of the film and demand me to move out of their seat? Worse still - what if, when I left, I found I had been sitting in my selected seat after all?

It was all very awkward, perhaps made more awkward by the fact that, on reflection, it wasn't particularly awkward at all. I just sat in whatever damned chair I was sitting in and enjoyed the spectacle. I wish I could say I did something more interesting, like stripped back to my undies and did a little dance in the empty auditorium, but nope. I just sat there.

This is not a film review. This is not even really a blog post. This is just an idle passing note to note the idle passing afternoon when I sat in a cinema watching a film all on my own. The film was good. I totally recommend it. You should totally go and see this film.

*I don't know if anyone actually said this about films, but it seems like something someone might have said about films, so in it goes. 

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Monday, 03 December

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Tuesday, 17 April


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #590 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: Whats On | 17 - 23 April 2018 Newsletter | #590 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 17th April 2018 to Monday 23rd April 2018 Enjoy Untold | Reach Foundation 25 of the worlds top urban artists | $1 million target Melbournes most exciting contemporary urban art installation under the Nylex Clock for the Reach Foundation. Untold Melbourne | Reach Foundation | Buy Tickets South Asian Festival A free event on Saturday 21st April 2018 celebrates the Bengali New Year in a splendid display of South Asias rich and vibrant culture. South Asian Festival 2018 | Birrarung Marr Supanova | Pop Culture Expo Saturday 21 April - Sunday 22 April 2018 | Comic-con Australian style Supanova is a celebration of all things Pop Culture featuring special guests, anime, comic-books, manga, sci-fi, tv shows, movies, gaming and cosplay! Supanova | Melbourne Showgrounds A Family Affair - Works by JS Bach and Sons Melbourne Musicians present two outstanding soloists flautist Bridget Bolliger and Soprano Sarah Lobegeiger de Rodriguez. Sunday 29th of April 2018 | St Johns Southgate A Family Affair | Tickets Online La Beatles Boheme Emotionworks Cut Opera presents La Beatles Boheme in a tragic love story about two contrasting couples - the tempestuous and the romantic. Concerts 21-29 April | Flagstaff Carpark La Beatles Boheme | Buy Tickets Rites of Passage | Tattoo and Arts Festival Royal Exhibition Building | 20-22 April 2018 Rites of Passage returns for a huge weekend of tattoos, live art, exhibitions, displays, food trucks and entertainment. Rites of Passage 2018 | Tattoo and Arts Festival | Buy Tix Record Store Day Saturday 21st April 2018 - Discover music in your favourite music store. Record Store Day 2018 | Store Finder This Weekend Best Improv Comedy 2018: Tournament of Teams, Brickman Awesome LEGO Exhibition, Challenge Melbourne, Earth Day 2018, Great Amazing Race, Malaysia Day Festival, Marvels Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N, Melbourne Russian Festival, Memory Walk and Jog | Alzheimer Australia, Peanut Butter Festival, Vikings | Swedish History Museum Exhibition, Alice in Wonderland Exhibition Full Weekend Guide Markets and Sales Suitcase Rummage Northcote, The District Makers Market, Night Market: Neon Night, Vintage Sportswear Market Fitzroy, Night Market @ Melbourne Uni, Thread Den Market, Yarraville Craft Market, Cheeky Monkey Market, Piccadilly Market, Creswick Market, Mulgrave Makers Market, Fitzroy Market, Trinity Market, Glen Huntly Market, Gembrook Market, Ivanhoe Makers Market, Montrose Craft Market, Gran...

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Monday, 16 April


Installation / bump in details of new work Event /... Steven Rhall | Blog

Installation / bump in details of new work Event / Affect within @seventhgallerys Night Space (viewable 18:00-00:00 Tuesday to Saturday), opening 18/4 18:00. (at SEVENTH Gallery)

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Sunday, 08 April


A mutual understanding. VICTORIA_STREET

Yes it has been quite a while since the last post, we have moved into the bigger domicile and have progressed through most of our boxes of stuff. The kids have also settled in nicely. 

The 1960's tilt door garage was cleaned out, swept and dusted, while this was initially destined to become the new home for Victoria Street, the bride had another suggestion.........

Her idea is that the layout in its usual configuration could reside in the spare room the other side of our en-suite as just a running layout, while all the "untidy"(her words) works such as painting, modelling and soldering should take place in the shed, this inside space would significantly reduce the dust experienced in the shed and I can share the inside space with her sewing hobbies.  

While this offer is proving inviting, the reality is that the wall space allocated is long enough, the right hand side return that would feature the bend and racecourse modules would foul the doorway for the en-suite, and this will not do. 

So while these matters are in play, I'm in the process of re-configuring the modules into a cohesive narrative and a functional layout. 

The best scenario and easiest solution at the moment is to remove the bend module and have the racecourse module attach directly to the gates module as an 'old school' along the wall shelf layout. The bend module would reside in the cupboard for exhibitions or could be dragged outside for photography in sunlight. 

Another option is to position the bend module between the junction and railway station modules, this would require trams running out to Ammo factory to traverse...


Radio Marinara - 08 Apr 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Bron, Anth and Rex Hunter will be in Sunday with a huge range of marine and coastal delights.

First Dr Bryce Stewart - Marinara's emerging UK reporter - joins us live from York in the UK to talk about the impact from the "Beast" weather event on UK marine life, Brexit fisheries negotiations, and what is called the "Blue Planet" effect - something we will get here soon!

And next weekend, Slow Food Melbourne presents the inaugural Slow Fish Festival in Spotswood, a time to take stock of the many threats faced by our oceans and bays and those who rely on them for food or their livelihood The Slow Fish Festival will share insights into what's needed to ensure our seafood and aquaculture can survive now and the future, whilst celebrating and savouring the catch on our very doorstep. We'll be speaking with Festival Co-ordinator Allison Peak, and third generation fisher and festival presenter Phil McAdams.

To finish of a busy show REx Hunter has a new and exciting wreck to discuss... but we will keep it secret until Sunday!

Blub blub blub...

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Tuesday, 03 April


Melbournes flooded Brunswick Hotel is holding a fundraiser gig this week "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Beloved Melbourne venue The Brunswick Hotel have announced a fundraiser gig next weekend which aims to assist their dedicated staff who have been affected by the nightspots recent closure.

Just under a fortnight ago, the Sydney Road venue was forced to close after some genius fresh out of driving school took it upon himself run over the fire hydrant in front of the venue, causing a deluge of water to pour directly into our beloved pub. The structural damage caused by the incident has caused the venue to pull up stumps for the time being, with all of its staff currently out of work.


Due to some idiot mounting the kerb and flooding the venue from above with a fire hydrant, The Brunswick Hotel will be

Posted by The Brunswick Hotel onWednesday, 21 March 2018

However, in hopes of easing the stress put on their staff, the Brunny has decided to put on a fundraising event this weekend at the nearby RUBIX Warehouse featuring a number of local music acts.

While forced remodelling is underway through the help of insurance, bar staff, sound engineers, bussies and security guards are all now struggling to pay the rent, fill their bellies and find new jobs to keep them busy while The Brunny is repaired, the venue explains. Thats where Flood Aid comes in!

Featuring the likes of China Beach, Flyying Colours, Australian Kingswood Factory, The Balls, and GIANT, Flood Aid hopes to make things a whole lot easier in that time between remodelling taking place and the hotels eventual reopening.

Tickets to the event are on sale now through Eventbrite, and will be available at the door on the night. Check out the events Facebook page for more info, and be sure to come on out to make sure some of Melbournes hardest-working venue staff get the help they need during this frustrating time.

Check out Flyying Colours Running Late&#821...


Uncommon Sense - 03 April 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Ben Eltham, National Affairs Correspondent for New Matilda, came in to discuss federal politics. Photographer Clare Rae and Gareth Syvret, Photographic Archivist at the Socit Jersiaise in the UK, came in to the studio to talk about the exhibition Entre Nous: Claude Cahun and Clare Rae, now showing at the Centre for Contemporary Photography. Then, musical improvisation troupe Spontaneous Broadway joined the show to talk about their latest season at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and improvise some musical songs inspired by listener suggestions. Amy was joined by cast members Gillian Cosgriff and Sally Bourne, with pianist/composer John Thorn and MC Russell Fletcher.


CERES Artist in Residence Adam Buckland "IndyWatch Feed"

Adam Buckland is CERES artist in residence, working out of the Peace Centre. We had a quick chat to him about his work, his journey, and where you can find his work once complete.

How long have you been our artist in residence?

Nearly five months.

How did you come to be the artist in residence at CERES?

I first heard that CERES sometimes has resident artists from Belinda when I was volunteering with her in the gardens (Ive been volunteering in her team since January 2016). I didnt think much more of it until about 12 months later when one day we were weeding near the Peace Centre and I had a look around the building. From there I had a conversation with Nick to see if anyone was using the space and asked him what it meant to be artist in residence at CERES. After our discussion he encouraged me to send him an application.



Zero G - 2 April 2018 Episode 1178 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

ZERO-G #1178

Title: Wake the Undead Podcast Title: A Diet Pod

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Historical Radio with Rob Jan & Megan McKeough. This week: we line up for zomcom seconds for Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet Season 2, tip toe around the clever clever horror film, A Quiet Place, see what fungis are up to in the efficiently infective zombie movie, The Girl With All The Gifts, and pick the genre highlights of the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

For playlists, show notes, and news see the 3RRR website at:

Follow @zerogrobjan on Twitter and Facebook:

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Monday, 02 April


Patti Smiths 40 Favorite Books "IndyWatch Feed"

Image of Patti Smith performing in Rio de Janeiro by Daigo Oliva

As a little girl, Patti Smith found liberation in words -- first through the bedtime prayers she made up herself, and later in books. "I was completely smitten by the book," she writes in her memoir, Just Kids.  "I longed to read them all, and the things I read of produced new yearnings."

Smith found a role model in Jo, the tomboy writer in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. "She gave me the courage of a new goal," writes Smith, "and soon I was crafting little stories and spinning long yarns for my brother and sister." As a teenager she discovered the French Symbolist poets Charles Baudelaire and especially Arthur Rimbaud, who inspired her and helped shape her own artistic persona as a poet and punk rocker.

Despite her fame as a rock 'n' roll musician, Smith has always described herself as essentially a bookish person. It was around the time of Smith's appearance at the 2008 Melbourne International Arts Festival, according to Vertigo, that Smith released this list of her favorite books. Not surprisingly, it's an eclectic and fascinating group of books:


In n Out of Grace (detail) 2015. Performance, drawing,... Steven Rhall | Blog

In n Out of Grace (detail) 2015. Performance, drawing, photographs, Victorian Ash, Ash, paper.
- -
- -

This works nexus is a 2 hour durational performance by alter-ego, and psychopomp Black Metal, in 2015. As a wider collection of objects, this installation reflects notions of space created by the performance event and remediation. Experience of past events carried intergenerationaly find an appropriate outlet in performance as gesture, gesture becoming mark. Blak Metal, as device to symbolically activate expressions of colonisation, enacts violence through gesture and sound the works materiality and aesthetic forming both expression of catharsis and emotional violence.


Dysphemic & Miss Eliza - Hungarian Dance - Classical Violin Dubstep "IndyWatch Feed"

Download for free: Follow Dys & Eliza: A MONSTER AND BEAR PRODUCTION Director: Ryan Bird Produced by Sarah Hickey and Ryan Bird Director of Photography: Josh Mitchell-Frey Dancers: Angela Mamajama and Martin de Jesus Make Up Artist: Corrine Grbevski Editor and VFX: Ryan Bird Colourist: Josh Mitchell-Frey Violin Dubstep Biography: Ever wondered what a violin making sweet, sweet love to a sub-woofer sounds like? How about Bach on the gear? Or maybe you're partial to manga girls and dope beats hey? Well enter, stage left, Dysphemic & Miss Eliza! Bloomed in Melbourne, Australia from a kiss in the depths of a drum and bass party, D&E's obsession with music and each other spawned an outfit built on melodic complexity, slamming drums, violin virtuosity and double time rap. Also renowned for their 100% live and original stage show, these crowned "pioneers of classical dubstep" (100% magazine) utterly mesmerize and have enough spunk and energy to leave the punters screaming. Want to know more about their cross genre sound? Alllllllrighty then! D&E splice the likes of classical violin, dubstep, glitch hop, drum and bass and hip hop. Their slinky tune 'Tunnel Vision' topped the Kiss FM charts, 'Ramses' was revered as "bass driven ball bearing dubstep" (Beat magazine) and their 2013 debut album 'Synthetic Symphony' has been deemed: "a masterpiece.... the future for next level EDM" (Futurescope) and "a delicate fusion of Classical and Dubstep...the first EP of its kind" (WHOMP TV). They've also toured North America in 2012, and supported Nero, Foreign Beggars, Andy C, Tipper, Beats Antique, Antennae, Dov, ill.Gates, Datsik, Plastician and everyone in between. PA-CHOW! Frequently on the festival circuit and headlining club gigs, Dysphemic & Miss Eliza are a weapon shooting straight into the hearts and ears of dance floors worldwide. The Synthetic Symphony Tour hits Australia (February-April), America (May-July) and Europe (August) and their latest EP 'Only One' out on Muti Music, drops April 16, 2013. Dysphemic (Julian Treweeke) producer/MC for D&E Hailing from The Blue Mountains; Dysphemic - offspring of Vernon Treweeke, the "Father of Australian Psychedelic Art" - started experimenting with music at the age of 10. From humble beginnings programming on an Amiga Commodore computer and playing drums, Dysphemic has established himself as a one of Australia's most unique and prolific producer/MC's. Traversing from jungle, hardcore techno, hip hop, IDM, drum and bass, dubstep and glitch hop, Dysphemic's standout releases ('Sloth', 'Androids', 'Hypnosis' and 'Muthaf#ckn Dinosaur!') have received worldwide attention and a dedicated following after his European tour. Miss Eliza (Eliza Quirit) violinist/producer/singer for D&E A classically trained violinist since the age of 5; Miss Eliza, the "child prodigy" of Filipino...

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Friday, 30 March


Feeling invisible at the dinner without lamb (2015). Dimensions... Steven Rhall | Blog

Feeling invisible at the dinner without lamb (2015). Dimensions variable. A collaboration with @siying_z
Performance, Concrete, Video (detail). Outdoor images courtesy @brent_edwards_photographer

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Wednesday, 28 March


Like Thieves "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"


The mighty Like Thieves are returning to the fray of the Australian music scene today with the announcement of their brand new single Never See it Coming and a national run of live shows. The Never See it Coming National tour begins on 11 May and ends 2 June and goes on sale from this Friday 30th March! With Clint Boge vocally running red-hot after a completely sold-out The Butterfly Effect tour around Australia and musicians Oden Johannson (Guitar), Clint Gough (Bass) and Daniel Trickett (Drums) stoking the musical fires of the band, Like Thieves are bringing their new, even heavier sound out on the road to Canberras The Basement May 11th, Sydneys Red Rattler Theatre May 12th, Adelaides Enigma Bar May 25th, Melbournes Evelyn Hotel May 26th and Brisbanes The ZooJune 2nd.




The post Like Thieves appeared first on The Zoo.


Download Festival is set to expand to Sydney when it returns next year "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Over the last few months, all that Australias heavy music fans could talk about was that of the inaugural Download Festival. Well, now these fans can get even more excited, with news that not only will the festival be returning in 2019, but its set to expand to Sydney as well.

Having been a fixture of the UK music scene since 2003, recent years have seen Download Festival expand internationally, first to France, then to Spain, and now finally, Australia. With countless music lovers turning up on the weekend to watch stunning sets by Korn, Prophets Of Rage, Limp Bizkit, Good Charlotte, and much more, it was very clear that Australians have found themselves a new favourite festival.

Now, Download programmer Nigel Melder has confirmed that the festival will not only make a comeback next year, but that Sydney is set to get their own leg of the festival, too.

We could not be happier with how Download rolled out in 2018, Nigel Melder said. The warmth and support from the heavy music community was unprecedented. From fans to industry and media the love has been out of this world.

We cant thank everyone enough for their behaviour yesterday and we are excited to confirm that Download will return to Melbourne and also make its Sydney debut in 2019.

Likewise, Andy Copping, the founder of Download, flew over from the UK in order to experience the festivals southern hemisphere debut.

It was an incredible honour to bring Download Festival to Australia and no better place than at Flemington Racecourse, or as it was renamed by fans Donmington, in the heart of Melbourne, Copping said. Seeing all the bands just hanging out and supporting each other on stage encapsulates the true camaraderie and spirit of this kind of music, this scene and this festival.

Thank you Download Australia, particularly the fans cause its nothing without you lot, you have truly have taken the festival to your hearts and we cannot wait to be back again for you next year!

While theres no word yet on which acts will be in contention for next years festival, we wouldnt blame you if you started drafting up your wishlist now!

Check out Limp Bizkits Hot Dog, live from Download Melbourne:

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Tuesday, 27 March


Zero G - 26 March 2018 Episode 1177 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

ZERO-G #1177

Title: Game of Tombs Podcast Title: Tomb Podder

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Historical Radio with Rob Jan & Megan McKeough. This week: interview with Isabella Vallette, about GAMESHOW OF THRONES at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; and we check out TOMB RAIDER,the latest gaming reboot.

For playlists, show notes, and news see the 3RRR website at:

Follow @zerogrobjan on Twitter and Facebook:

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Monday, 26 March


Why are Portugal. The Man one of the best festival bands around? "IndyWatch Feed"

Theres a pretty strong chance that youve spent most of the last year unable to escape the infectious pop gem that is Portugal. The Mans Feel It Still, but did you know that the group have actually been rocking their hearts out (and annoying grammar enthusiasts) for 14 years?

Since forming back in 2004, Alaskas Portugal. The Man have been crafting some of the most intriguing and accomplished alt-rock and psychedelic-pop gems that the world has seen. With eight albums under their collective belts, it is pretty easy to see that these guys have gained themselves one heck of a dedicated following in all this time.

Ahead of the groups newest Aussie trek next month for Groovin The Moo, weve asked the enduring question, what makes Portugal. The Man one of the best festival bands out there?

In addition to delivering a mesmerising blend of 80s arena rock, 70s prog-rock, and 60s psychedelia, the groups charming nature makes them hard to pass up. Throw in a few covers as well, including David Bowie & Mott The Hooples All The Young Dudes, The Beatles Helter Skelter, and even The Dayman from Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and youve got yourself one unmissable live show.

Portugal. The Man are set to touch down in Australia next month for a series of performances at Groovin The Moo, in addition to a few sideshows in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Tickets are on sale now, so be sure not to miss one of the best live acts doing the rounds today.

Check out why Portugal. The Man are one of the best festival bands around:

Portugal. The Man Groovin The Moo 2018 Sideshows

Tickets on sale now

Tuesday, May 1st
Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tickets: Ticketek

Thursday, May 3rd
Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Thursday, May 10th

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Friday, 23 March


Ai Weiwei Highlights Treatment of Global Refugees in Human Flow Documentary and Sydney Biennale Installations "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

My latest post for Global Voices:

During a visit to Australia, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has blitzed the media with his concerns about the global treatment of refugees.

He is the headline artist with two major installations at the Biennale of Sydney that runs until June 2018. One, called The Law of the Journey located at the Cockatoo Island, features a black rubber, inflatable boat and figures. They were made with the same material used to produce the hazardous boats that some asylum seekers and migrants travel in while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

...Ai also spoke at the Cinema Nova for the Melbourne opening of his documentary Human Flow, which features the stories of refugees in 23 countries in 2016.

...Kon Karapanagiotidis from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre conducted a live interview on Facebook and Twitter that has since attracted nearly 10,000 viewers.

More: From Sydney Biennale Installations to Film Screenings, Ai Weiwei Highlights Treatment of Global Refugees

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Sunday, 02 December



Antique shops abound in Melbourne and one need not go far in order to find one and explore its treasures at leisure. Whilst Australia is a relatively young country, and therefore finds it easier to look ahead to the future, the population has also many ties to the past, with its multicultural heritage playing a very important role in shaping its future. Antique objects are a very important bridge to the past and family keepsakes handed down the generations or acquired at a shop are a powerful reminder of a family's past memories and history.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

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Wednesday, 21 March


ARTS THURSDAY the Biennale and Theater for Young People "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Biennale artists at AGNSW with Mami Kataoka






Arts Thursday with Maisy Stapleton on 22 March.


Come with me on a tour of the twenty first Biennale of Sydney over the next two programs and visit the Art Gallery of NSW, Cockatoo Island and Artspace.

Ill be sharing some of my insights and there are interviews with artists and curators as well as a few soundscapes.

This week its the Art Gallery of NSW and (along with others on the media preview) well be welcomed by the Director of the Gallery and the Artistic Director of the Biennale and learn about the Biennale archives at the gallery.

Claire Eggleston, Archivist








Following this the focus will be on young people.

If youve ever wanted to involve children in theatre, either as audience, or as participants, then tune in for a fascinating discussion with Sue Giles.


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Tuesday, 20 March


Mama Kin Spender on their musical affinity, finding remedy and taking risks with Golden Magnetic "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

[Tommy and I] have been friends for about 16-17 years now. You get less than that for most major crimes these days

Its a playful sentiment that echoes throughout Golden Magnetic, the debut album conceived by Mama Kin (Danielle Caruana) and Melbourne producer Tommy Spender.

But aside from being a stellar collection of tracks inspired by nature, connection, love and hope the duo have been breaking out of the records physical confines by incorporating choirs from across the country into their live shows.

Set to hit Sydneys favourite Basement in April, Mama Kin joined Chelsea on The New Thing to delve deeper into the origins of Golden Magnetic, future plans and how they find a sense of community within each choir they perform with.

Click the blue play button:

Mama Kin Spender Golden Magnetic Tour
with Inner West Voice
The Basement, Circular Quay
Sunday, 29 April

The post Mama Kin Spender on their musical affinity, finding remedy and taking risks with Golden Ma...

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Sunday, 18 March


Honest to badness Will Type For Food

Saw a cafe called 'Honest Food' the other day. What would that look like if it were actually accurate, I wondered?

This poached egg with sumac on wholegrain toast says, "I don't think you should keep on seeing Brad."

This light arugula and fetta salad tossed with a fresh vinaigrette says "You don't look good in that dress."

This organic-fair-trade-light-almond-and-soy-medium latte says, "You're running away from your marital problems. I think you should see a counsellor."

This paleo-wrap with a pomegranate sauce says "Paleo is bullshit."


Eat It - 18 March 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Today we had a quick market report from John, we spoke to Linda Catalano about her upcoming Melbourne Food and Wine Festival show One Suitcase, Four Stories, and we chatted to Janet Deneefe about her food festival event at Tolarno.

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Friday, 16 March


Breakfasters - 13 - 16 March 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Director Garth Davis chats about his new film Mary Magdalene; In "Feature Creatures" Simon Hinkley informs the team about ants nursing each other back to health; "Friday Funnybugger" Nick Capper designs a new music festival; Jeff chats about his visit to the zoo in Werribee, and in "Trauma Tuesday" the team talk about a lost chicken neck, the Breakfasters theme playing in the Golden Plains Sup, and spiders in the bed. With Sarah Smith, Jeff Sparrow, and Geraldine Hickey.

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Thursday, 15 March


Thoughts on the death of Stephen Hawking Will Type For Food

We shouldn't be so shocked. He was both 76 years of age and possessor of a crippling condition for which the median time of death after diagnosis is three to five years. When Hawking was first diagnosed with MND he was told just this, that he could expect to be dead within five years. The fact that he lived for several decades more is remarkable in itself.

The truth is that his massive fame and all that derived from it was in large part due to this crippling disease. His runaway success, the book A Short History of Time, surely owed part of its success to the fact that the writer was a remarkable person, who had written a befuddlingly brilliant book while being hardly able to move at all. (People used to joke it was the one book you had in your house that sat on your shelf being entirely unread). Perhaps the book did become a success because people recognised Hawking as an old type, the adorable cerebral dweeb who was simultaneously smarter and less physically capable than anyone else in the class. Or rather: they saw him as a crippled prophet, like blind Homer or Milton, or mad Blake sitting in the tree singing to the angels. Hawking in his own way surely encouraged this with some of his more oracular utterances - "Then we shall truly know the mind of God." Which is perhaps why he became so crankily atheistic in response in his later years. He started appearing as a presenter on science shows, even in a very funny interview with John Oliver - just imagine the mechanics of setting that up. But at the end, if his celebrity was in large part derived from his crippling disease, it was a crippling disease he at no point chose and which he would have surely exchanged for a quiet life if he had been given the choice.

He was certainly not perfect. If people admire his contributions to science and his resilience in the face of the advance of his own MND, the biography of his ex-wife apparently tells quite a different story. Hawking wanted her to neglect her career for the benefit of his own, which she did: they divorced in 1990. But this, too, was surely in large part a side-effect of the all-encompassing beast that is MND; the need for care becomes constant as the body deteriorates, and home care - still a shoddy affair in the 2000s - must have been close enough to be non-existent in the '60s and '70s.

This quote by Hawking seems an apposite one to end on:

Hawking was asked what inspires him to keep going, to which he replied: My expectations when I turned 21 were reduced to zero. In this situation it was important to appreciate what I did have. He went on to explain that he has been fortunate in almost everything else and especially to work in theoretical physics at such an exciting time. Its important not to get angry, he said. You can lose all hope if you cant laugh at yourself and at life.

Image result for stephen hawking

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Tuesday, 13 March


Jet are hitting the road for the 15th anniversary of Get Born "IndyWatch Feed"

Cast your mind back to 2003 for a moment. Brisbanes Festival Hall closed its doors, Powderfinger and Delta Goodrem won big at the ARIA Awards, and Jet released their landmark debut albumGet Born. Now, 15 years later, the group are hitting the road to celebrate the records anniversary.

Yes, this September marks 15 years since Jet unleashed the garage-rock majesty of Get Born upon us, instantly sending Jet into superstardom across the board. In addition to the album scoring the group chart placings around the world and six ARIA awards, lead single Are You Gonna Be My Girl served as the soundtrack to an iPod commercial and topped the 2003 Hottest 100.

Now, the group are set to embark on a national tour which will see them playing the album in full, as well as a few of their other beloved hits as well. Kicks off at the end of May, Jet will hit up Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, and Adelaide before a homecoming show at Melbournes Forum Theatre on June 11th.

In celebration of the tour, Jet are also releasing a brand new live album to give fans a reminder of what to expect on these shows. Titled Live At The Forum, the album captures a ferocious set from the group back in 2004 which has just sat in the vaults for all these years.

Click here to pre-order a copy of Live At The Forum, and head along to Live Nation for ticketing details in regards to Jets Get Re-Born tour.

Check out Jets Are You Gonna Be My Girl:

Jet Get Re-Born Tour 2018

Tuesday, May 29th
NEX, Newcastle, NSW (18+)

Thursday, May 31st
Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW (18+)

Saturday, June 2nd
UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT (18+)

Monday, June 4th
The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD (18+)

Thursday, June 7th
Metro City, Perth, WA (18+)

Saturday, June 9th
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA (18+)

Monday, June 11th...

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Sunday, 11 March


Radio Marinara 11 Mar 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Jemima Robinson, Director of the Ocean Film Festival joins us to talk about the amazing lineup coming up next week in Melbourne, Geelong, Rosebud and Halls Gap (and many other venues if you're not in Victoria). Jeff brings us Soundwaves - this week, where TV soaps meet the sea (eek!). John and Bron bring buckets of wet 'n salty news, including the horrendous effects of 'Beast from the East' storm off the UK this week, and the oldest message in a bottle found this week off the coast of WA.

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Friday, 09 March


Hong Kong investor pays $6.48m for Byrons Lawson Arcade "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

A Hong Kong based private investor has paid $6.48 million on a tight 4.7 per cent yield for Lawson Arcade, a prized retail asset in the heart of Byron Bay, one of Australias most popular beach resorts.

Teska Carson Director Michael Ludski, who brokered the deal with Byron Bay Property Sales Kath Vaubell, said the fully let property attracted 100 enquiries predominantly from Melbourne, Sydney and off-shore, with nine formal offers lodged.

Ludski said investors had recognised the tremendous growth potential in one of Australias most popular beach resorts and the limited retail space available in the town.

He said Byron Bays popularity, attracting high levels of tourists currently more than 2 million a year  and new residents, was a key factor.

These resident and tourist numbers continue to provide significant returns and excellent growth potential underpinning local businesses, Mr Ludski said.

The 17 Lawson Street property comprises a modern, double storey, brick building of 594 square metres (GLA) comprising three shops, two restaurants and four office suites with a central arcade providing pedestrian access to the rear shops and car parking on an 866 square metre site.

The arcade had recently undergone a $250,000 refurbishment.

The property was sold fully let at a gross annual income of approximately $465,000.


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Sunday, 04 March


Eat It - 4 March 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

On today's show we mentioned the amazing Japanese food created at Kisume restaurant in Melbourne's CBD... how lucky are we to have so many cuisines in this town?

Italian is another cuisine Melbourne has covered, and none better than Tipo 00 on Little Bourke St. Chef Alberto Fava joined us to talk about the mysteries of pasta; what shapes go with what sauce?

We caught up with John at the Queen Vic Market.

Wine guru Max Allen popped in to tell us about his upcoming event at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. We tried to stump him with a blind tasting of a funky marsanne, but he picked it in one!

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Saturday, 03 March


Maldon Folk Festival - An Introduction "IndyWatch Feed"

Maldon Folk Festival is an annual family-friendly folk festival in Maldon, Victoria (near Bendigo) - a long weekend of quality family entertainment to suit all age groups and tastes. The festival hosts an abundance of music, dance and theatre, such as Folk Irish Ceilidh bush gospel and blues music, dance, musical theatre, poetry, interactive workshops, song-writing competitions, and are complemented by various activities around the Maldon township. COME ALONG TO THE 2009 FESTIVAL. Visit the website below for more details or to book. maldonfolkfestival DOT com Maldon Folk Festival on MySpace: myspace DOT com/maldonfolkfestival Video produced by GoldfieldStories

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Saturday, 01 December



The white-faced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) also known as the white-fronted heron, and incorrectly as the grey heron, or blue crane, is a common bird throughout most of Australasia, including New Guinea, the islands of Torres Strait, Indonesia, New Zealand, and all but the driest areas of Australia.

It is a medium-sized heron, pale, slightly bluish-grey, with yellow legs and white facial markings. It can be found almost anywhere near shallow water, fresh or salt, and although it is prompt to depart the scene on long, slow-beating wings if disturbed, it will boldly raid suburban fish ponds.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.


Siphonophore/Realms/Tina Douglas/Seclude at Radio Bar Experimental Melbourne









inspired by the percussive turntable possibilities displayed by
and a huge fan of the creative physical-glitch techniques of
Victoria's very own A DMN SHEEN
created his FREETABLES project.

the newest volume, FREETABLES 4, incorporates the same bells and clackers and small drums and christmas decorations and string drums and shakers and percussive elements as the first 3 volumes, as well as the same approaches to fractured vinyl forced-grooves and skips. 

but where FREETABLES 4 differs from the first three volumes is in the additional use of 4-STRINGED MONOTONAL ACOUSTIC GUITAR, leaned onto the spinning vinyl to create haunting hurdy-gurdy-like drones, or placed nearby the turntable so that wildly-swinging beaters or bells randomly strike the strings, creating odd chaotic fluxes of abstracted melody and guitar-string timbre.

with a poorly-treated stylus creating increasingly-distorted turntable fragments, incidental field-recordings picked up by the mic, and a clattering smattering of small percussions, these pieces are for fans of acoustic randomness, algorithmic drones, untreated cluster-musik, and/or cultural re-use.

available now.



"The Alfred Munnings: War Artist 1918" exhibition, Britain then Canada ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

I wanted to focus on WW1 anniversary exhibitions in this blog before the end of 2018. So today we will examine Canadian soldiers and horses in Europe, and next post we will examine animals in the Australian army camps in Europe.

From a young age Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) loved drawing. His art was further developed through his apprenticeship as a lithographer in Norwich and by attending night classes at Norwich School of Art. By the time Munnings set up his first studio in Mendham, Suffolk in the late 1890s, he had already exhibited at Londons Royal Academy. Munnings travelled extensively to enhance his knowledge of art and techniques. He visited continental galleries, studied in Paris and was based in Cornwall with other well-known artists like Laura and Harold Knight.

Exhibition catalogue
Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918
Now in the National Army Museum in Chelsea

Thanks to the Canadian War Museum for the following details. It was WW1 that was the making of him because soldiers and horses always had a special relationship. Munnings was denied service in the British army because of a blind eye, but he found work examining horses for diseases and parasites as they arrived to supply cavalry and transport units the programme acquired 44 artworks from Munnings, which are now part of the Canadian War Museum.

In the early part of WW1, Canadian soldiers were rarely featured in official images. But in 1916, a Canadian newspaper mogul became that countrys wartime publicist in London. Sir Max Aitken later Lord Beaverbrook used his considerable political influence and personal fortune to create the Canadian War Memorials Fund. The programme employed British, Belgian and Canadian painters, photographers and sculptors to capture the Canadian war effort, at home and overseas. Munnings was commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund as an official war artist.

Soldiers, horses, battles and ruined landscapes were made when Munnings joined Lord Beaverbrooks art initiative in 1918. Munning's time in the final year of WW1 was an embedded artist with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, on the Western Front. Munnings wanted to capture the fighting front and logistics behind the scenes. With 45 paintings of the Canadian Cavalry hung in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1919, Munnings became a household name.

Eight million horses suffered and died in WW1. So in 2014-5 The Lightbox Gallery in Surrey ran an exhibition, exploring how the horse was depicted in war, both heroically and as beast-of-burden. Some of the leading British artists of the day were on show, including William Roberts and Sir Alfred Munnings. A social history display looked at the care and training of the horse and local effects of the requisition of horses during WW1. Lightbox Gallery said about Munnings that he had the ability, like no other artist, to exquisitely depict equestrian subjects, capturing their rippling muscles and sheen of colour.

Now a new WW1 exhibition at the National Army Museum in Chelsea has been developed by the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa) in partnership with The Munnings Art Museum (Dedham) and The Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation. Paintings regarded as one of the most important collections of war art anywhere have gone on display together for the first time since they were exhibited in 1919.

The exhibition ...

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Thursday, 01 March


Smart Arts 1 March 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

This week Richard is joined in studio by Play On: The Art of Sport's Curator Jacqueline Doughty in celebration of 10 years of the Basil Sellers Art Prize, Alison Croggon and Robert Reid chat about the launch of arts journalism website Witness Performance launch; Program Director Spiro Economopoulos spruiks this years' Melbourne Queer Film Festival.


Becks Melbourne gig served as a welcome return for the alt-rock legend "IndyWatch Feed"

Review: Beck & Meg Mac at the Margaret Court Arena, February 28 2018

Last year, Beck announced that he was set to descend upon Australia for the first time in six years for the inaugural Sydney City Limits festival, in support of his thirteenth album, Colors. When the musical chameleon happened to announce sideshows for Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, fans were eagerly awaiting these long overdue performances to refresh their memories as to why hes one of the worlds most versatile and accomplished musicians.

As crowds slowly trickled into Melbournes Margaret Court Arena last night (which featured small signs made by the public referring to it as the Marriage Equality Arena), there was much talk about the show that awaited them. Overheard conversations included some fans hoping to hear some of his earliest cuts, while others hoped for something more recent. The most exciting thing about this though was that both fans had equal chances of leaving happy, with audiences never really knowing what to expect from a Beck setlist.

As showtime rolled around, a sadly all-too-small crowd was in attendance for one of Australias most talented performers of the moment, Meg Mac. Fresh from a huge year which saw the release of her debut record, Low Blows, Meg Mac took to the stage with her five-piece backing band, all of them dressed in shades of black and white a far cry from the Colors tour which Beck was bringing to the people.

As Meg Mac kicked off her set, which included hits such as Never Be, Low Blows, and Roll Up Your Sleeves this hugely talented muso showed off her amazingly soulful pipes to a hometown crowd, proving why she has been so popular in recent years with her her catchy, almost gospel-like tracks.

With her sister on backing vocals, and a hugely-talented backing band behind her, Meg Mac continued to deliver the hits, showcasing her stellar cover of Bill Withers Grandmas Hands, and even throwing down her 2017 Like A Version cover of Tame Impalas Let It Happen. By the end of her set, there wasnt a single audience member who wasnt enthralled by what they had just witnessed, and it was clear that she...

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Tuesday, 27 February


OnlyMelbourne Newsletter #583 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online Newsletter | #583 | What's On this WeekWelcome to Newsletter | #583 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 27th February 2018 to Monday 5th March 2018 Sydney Road Street Party The famous (and free) opening event of the Brunswick Music Festival returns on Sunday 4 March 2018. Sydney Road Street Party 2018 Seddon Festival .nobrtable br { display: none } Seddon Festival will transform Charles and Victoria Streets into a lively community fiesta for the whole family, including the dog. Seddon Festival 2018 Knox Festival .nobrtable br { display: none } Knox Festival invites everyone to a festival that promises to be a feast for your senses. Knox Festival 2018 The Black Sorrows .nobrtable br { display: none } Friday 2nd March 2018 | Jo Camilleri , gospel and country at Hysteria Lounge in Lilydale. Tickets selling fast. The Black Sorrows | Buy Tickets Online Gourmet Cinema .nobrtable br { display: none } Enjoy a classic movie while feasting on some of Melbournes best restaurants under the moonlight at Caulfield Racecourse. 1-11 March | Gourmet Cinema 2018 | Caulfield Racecourse | Tickets Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N .nobrtable br { display: none } The Immersive Experience integrates modern technology and movie based props for the ultimate immersive experience Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N | Federation Square Virtual Reality Experiences .nobrtable br { display: none } The Viri Experience will engage your senses through an 80 minute virtual reality immersion with your friends. Virtual Reality Immersion | Melbourne | Book Online Big Melbourne Escape .nobrtable br { display: none } Melbourne has been keeping its secrets for many years. There is only one opportunity to solve all the riddles and escape the city maze. Big Melbourne Escape - Insomnia Race | Book Now (Limited Numbers) Festivals This Weekend .nobrtable br { display: none } Wurstfest 2018 Port Melbourne Community Carnival 2018 Melbourne Fashion Festival 2018 Lantern Festival | Yun Xio Ji F1 Grid Festival 2018 Brunswick Music Festival 2018 Boolarra Folk Festival 2018 Wyndham Holi - Festival of Colors 2018 View Festivals This Week: 27 February - 5 March 2018 .nobrtable br { display: none } F1 Grid Festival, Gourmet Cinema, NAB AFL Auskick Launch, Neon Run, One Fine Day | Wedding Fair, Park Cinema Docklands, Reptile and Amphibian Expo, Walk for Monash Children's Hospital, Warragul Show View These Events Markets & Sales .nobrtable br { display: none } This week Blak Dot Artists Market, Moonee Ponds Primary School Fete, Crate Digger Record Fair | Preston, Point Cook Market, Yarra Glen Racecourse Craft Market, Bairnsdale Makers Market, Longwarry Fire Brigade Market, Hawthorn Craft Market, Werribee Undercover Market, The Arts Centre Sunday Market, Koonung Heights Uniting...

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Monday, 26 February


Higher education inequality: do graduate outcomes differ by socioeconomic status? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In earlier posts in this series on inequality and higher education, I have suggested that the SES participation differences are largely driven by prior academic performance and that different SES groups seem to experience higher education in much the same way, but low SES students are less likely to complete their degrees. In this post, I will look at outcomes for the students who do complete their degrees.

First, are there differences in rates of getting a job? The 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey finds that there are small differences. About four months after completing their bachelor degree, 73.6 per cent of high SES graduates who were looking for full-time work had found it, compared to 70.3 per cent of low SES graduates. However, of those who were working full time low SES students were slightly less likely to report not fully using their skills at work than high SES graduates (27.1 per cent compared to 28.9 per cent). It is difficult to say whether there is any direct SES effect in these results, as employment outcomes differ substantially by field of education, and SES differences in discipline choices could explain the results.

The Graduate Outcomes Survey also looks at starting salaries in the first full-time job after completing an undergraduate degree. Again, we find a small SES difference: the median starting salary for high-SES graduates in 2017 was $61,000, and for low SES graduates it was $60,000. This does not tell us whether there is any direct SES effect (such as not being able to access social networks to find professional jobs) or whether other factors such as discipline explain the result. A study using an earlier first year out survey had a limited control for discipline, as well as controls for weighted average marks, gender, and various other factors. It found no negative salary effect for low SES students, using a geographic measure of SES.

One possible cause of SES differences is that low SES students tend to attend the less prestigious universities, reflecting the school results issues...

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Saturday, 24 February


WTF News: Hipster scientists discover a way of making vegetables out of meat Will Type For Food


From deep in the hipster laboratories of Hipsterville today comes exciting news: hipsters have discovered a way of synthesising vegetables out of meat.

"This important discovery could soon make it possible for us to have an all meat diet," says Hipster McHipsters, chief scientist at the hipster laboratories.

Although the meat-made vegetables only currently come in the form of bacon-lettuce and pork-kale, the hipster scientists soon hope to develop bacon-tomato, thus giving the world the first BLT made solely out of bacon.

Activist group Bro Central hailed this development in cruelty-free food, saying, "No longger will bros have to suffer eating vegetable-based vegetables. Soon, we will all be able to make the transition to a true carnivorous diet! This shows the whole world a better way is possible."

"Except, you know, for the animals", clarified the Head Bro.

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Friday, 23 February


Tomorrow (Sat) is the last day of Boxed Light @marsgallery in... Steven Rhall | Blog

Tomorrow (Sat) is the last day of Boxed Light @marsgallery in Windsor. A work I made as part of the #WODDALOADA residency happened to align well with the curatorial premise of the show. Thanks @andy_dinan for the opportunity
The indexicality of objects derived from a particular context (detail) 2017
colour reversal film, epoxy resin, found commode, florescent light, excercise ball. Dimensions variable. (at MARS Gallery)


Higher education inequality: how much does performance at university differ by socioeconomic status? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In an earlier post, I argued that the Australian higher education system probably deserved about a 7/10 for equity of access. In line with some theory, the middle-class meritocracy continues to reproduce itself successfully, but the universities are open to talent: for a given ATAR, university participation rates are very similar across SES groups. But what happens when students arrive at university?

Intriguingly, many studies have found that low SES students or students from non-selective government schools do not do worse and indeed tend to get slightly higher marks, for a given ATAR starting point (eg here, here, and here and the literature cited within).

Various theories for this finding have been offered, but I suspect it is because the schools higher-SES students attend maximise ATARs through intense coaching and social pressure, but their less motivated and organised students dont do as well in the much less structured university environment. By contrast, a lower-SES student who has done well in Year 12, quite possibly with much less school and social support than higher-SES students, is a motivated and resourceful person, and that pays off at university as well.

Student satisfaction is not reported directly by SES, but recent surveys differentiate between people who are first in family and those who are not. This gives much less nuance than I would like, but low SES students are much more likely to be first in family than high SES students. The Student Experience Survey finds first in family students are often slightly more satisfied with their educational experience than students who are not first in family. Maybe first in family student expectations are different, but generally...


Byte Into IT - 21 February 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

Warren and Cassie in the studio this fine Wednesday evening to bring you all of the week's news in technology, computing and startups.

Our first guest is Councillor Jackie Watts, speaking about the City of Melbourne libraries making the Kanopy film and streaming service available to all members.

This is then followed by an interview with musician and artist Chipocrite, who tell us about the upcoming Square Sounds festival and his crash course on how to make chiptune music.

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Tuesday, 20 February


This week is the last opportunity to visit TELL, a touring... Steven Rhall | Blog

This week is the last opportunity to visit TELL, a touring exhibition of @ballaratfoto, currently in Sydney for @sydney_festival. The opportunity to realise Avert originally timed with the above statement entering consciousness (whilst camping in the Otways). Manifesting as object, the work sought to bring into question ideas of representation, cultural expression and medium specificity. The video above documents from the final element of the works making an application of light sensitive solution, which as active agent, responds to light / the context / and environment of the works presentation.

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Friday, 16 February


In order to clarify matters Will Type For Food

In order to clarify matters, here are my preferred pronouns:

Obnoxious old fart (2nd person)
Cantankerous antique bag full of wrinkles (3rd person)
Discarded toe-nail in a sack of pus (2nd person reflexive)
Malodorous hirpling excrescences (2nd person plural)
Grasping grizzling glabulous gnome (possessive)
I, me, my (1st person)


Showing alongside some great artists in A Thousand Times the... Steven Rhall | Blog

Showing alongside some great artists in A Thousand Times the Rolling Sun at the Beechworth Gaol. This exhibition is only up for the duration of this weekend and well worth the drive up the Hume. #athousandtimestherollingsun
Visibility is a trap (2108)
Decommissioned observation structure of HM Beechworth Prison, floor painting, steel rods, fluorescent lights.

The town of Beechworth exists as vestige of colonisation. This colonisation has enabled a collective consciousness based around alternative narratives which, largely serve economies based on romantic notions of settlerhood. The central well of the HM Beechworth Prison acts as a figurative nexus of how power and visibility function in forming dominant narratives and minimising others. The panoptic dynamic of the prison, both in form and as nexus, incorporate notions Foucaults Panopticism whereby vision is central to the interrelationship of power and control. Rhalls use of light seeks to further the symbolism of the panopticon whilst rendering it defunctionalised via reflections occurring within its own structure.
(at HM Prison Beechworth)

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Wednesday, 14 February


Preparing an installation in my makeshift studio called... Steven Rhall | Blog

Preparing an installation in my makeshift studio called visibility is a trap for #athousandtimestherollingsun curated by @gabriel.curtin Im installing this tomorrow as long as I manage not to zap myself and find a vehicle which makes it to Beechworth. Opens Friday evening 18/2 #sofarsogoodtouchwood (at Mums Table)


SWOON! It's Valentine's Day poetry time! Will Type For Food

Translations of old love poems into modern terminology

My love is like an earnings sheet
In profit after tax;
My love is like an office that's
Productive to the max.
If I chart out, my fiscal love,
How deep in love am I,
You'll find a healthy balance sheet
At least til EOFY.

- Robert Burns, 'A Red, Red Rose'.

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Sunday, 11 February


#TFW when you arrive home to discover yr Mum has subverted your... Steven Rhall | Blog

#TFW when you arrive home to discover yr Mum has subverted your art practice/objects At right is a work installed a few months ago at #Wyndhamgallery. Here Mum has repurposed it to stop the dog we mind each day from damaging the fly screen (swipe left for the context of my own recontextualisation of this found Mad Max 3 block mounted poster). At left is said dog (Noodles) making use of a pool Mum made from a found playground slide Im using as a prototype for an upcoming @artscentremelbourne commission called #birrarungsuperfunhappyslide (at Sunday Funday)

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Thursday, 08 February


Beginning an intervention today into the central well of the... Steven Rhall | Blog

Beginning an intervention today into the central well of the Beechworth Prison as part of A Thousand Times The Rolling Sun, curated by @gabriel.curtin A Thousand Times The Rolling Sun is a project held in and responding to the Old H.M Prison in the historic town of Beechworth. Built in 1864 and ceasing operations in 2004, the prisons exterior and interior spaces have long been estranged from one another. Its facade, relatively untouched since its original completion, has corroborated and perpetuated a specific history and narrative, particularly to do with Beechworths gold rush and Kelly gang affiliations. Since public entry, until very recently, has been extremely limited, the nuanced and tangled lineage of the prison have been obscured by its surface effect. This project attempts to investigate and celebrate the multiple histories and fallacies that comprise the prison. This group show involves numerous artists including @a1jessiebullivant @muckletimes @katiewularni and my ride and great company today @tara.oconal opens this Friday the 16th. #panopticon #athousandtimestherollingsun #beechworth (at HM Prison Beechworth)

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Friday, 30 November



After some rather cool and unseasonal weather for late Spring, today we had quite a beautiful day perfect for ushering in Summer... This is one of the ponds in the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.


Disability Day 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

Disability Day 2018

International Day of People with a Disability is coming up on Monday 3 December and we have an exciting lineup of advocates, artists and radical disabled activists for our dedicated 12-hour broadcast. We will be featuring live performances from singer/songwriter Heidi Everett and the amazingly talented cast of Not Normal from the Melbourne Fringe Festival. You will also hear some familiar voices with special episodes of Chronically Chilled, Billabong Beats, Doin' Time, Raising Our Voices and Brainwaves from our regular 3CR programmers. Tune in from 7am-7pm on Monday 3 December to help us fight for the choices and rights of disabled people. 

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Wednesday, 31 January


Various people interacting with my work tonight @c3artspace... Steven Rhall | Blog

Various people interacting with my work tonight @c3artspace which is in-situ for the next month. Thanks for those who made it along and the conversations about what is very much a test of ideas made possible with c3s support and that of #counihangallery @vca_mcms Margaret Lawrence Gallery an @acca_melbourne #every1sawinger (at Abbotsford Convent)

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Tuesday, 30 January


Im in the final stages of installing Every 1s a winger... Steven Rhall | Blog

Im in the final stages of installing Every 1s a winger tonight @c3artspace which actually opens tomorrow night 6-8pm. This is alongside a group show featuring @garrf @issicats @isabel_buck & @lina_buck and solo shows by @unwarranted_advances @madeline_kelly @torika_b & the lovely @lieslpfeffer see you @abbotsfordconvent (at Abbotsford Convent)

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Saturday, 27 January


Hi folks. Some upcoming shows. I have a solo exhibition opening... Steven Rhall | Blog

Hi folks. Some upcoming shows. I have a solo exhibition opening this Wednesday the 31/1 @c3artspace and a work @marsgallery, as part of a group show Boxed Light, opening . Roll up! #every1sawinger

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Sunday, 14 January


The things we do. (We all started from somewhere) VICTORIA_STREET

With the layout in exile, and with the family away up north while I have to work. Normally about this time of year I perform major works on Victoria Street. 

Question; What does one do and not yet indulge in self destructive behaviour before moving house? 

Answer; Plonk down some set track and run some retro train sets on the living room floor.  

First cab off the rank, remember the Christmas of 1977, Hornby punch out an Australian series that include the Victoria Railways S class with a ZL van and a loose collection of domestically branded British rollingstock all resplendent with tension lock couplers.  Sadly the box no longer exists, but I found this example online. 

From the catalogue.

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Thursday, 21 December


Well, that was a busy year. VICTORIA_STREET

I know it has been quite a while since the last post, but a fair bit has happen since. 

We have sold up our little abode in the inner west of Melbourne and obtained a good price for it and have bought a massive piece of suburbia in the south east sand belt. 

The bride will get her wish of moving back to her side of town after her tour of duty out west. 

This palatial domicile has ticked all the boxes on the original wish list, the kids will get their own rooms, the bride will get a study, I will get a decent sized shed and we all will get two bathrooms, two living areas and a massive covered outdoor entertaining space. 
This residence unlike some others we have seen doesn't require a renovation that starts with a box of matches. 

As always at this time of the year, I wish followers of the blog the best for the season, try to sensible with the food and drink, and remember it's all about the kids. As it will be our last Christmas west side this year, it is still shared with family and that is what matters.

This years Christmas card is a rework of the fifty thousand hits photo.

Seasons greetings all, from Victoria Street. 

So to the matter of the resumption of services on Victoria Street, as the layout was the first thing packed and stored, it will no doubt be the last thing to see the light of day after the relocation, which will happen in late February.
This will happen when I sort out my new man cave/shed. 

From under a soon to be different roof that will eventually have wires to run under. 


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Friday, 08 December


Its been really great working with @andyray87 to produce a new... Steven Rhall | Blog

Its been really great working with @andyray87 to produce a new iteration of English as a Second Language for his show Always there and all a part viewable now at @Blindside (thanks for the beers). Manifesting in 2015 in response to found signage which read We specializes in authentic Indian cuisine in local Footscray, I considered narratives related to this text and notions of language and place where for this location, English was never spoken until recently. The orange wall text mirrors the font and hue of the original sign. Andys decision to paint the wall a particular grey lends itself to the statements ambiguity as to who we might be, what is both authentic and Aboriginal Art as framed in this instance by Institutional spaces and their own beliefs on these questions. A looped video component features a time lapse of myself deinstalling the very 1st installation of the text. At the time a spontaneous documentation and performance.
Andys show is on until 22/12 and I encourage you to check out the pertinently brilliant works by @ _nathanbeard @lara_chamas_artist @_garciagram and @textaqueen. The opening night also saw a fantastic performance by Priya Srinivasan and Hari Sivanesan subverting the relationship between performer and audience, the watched and the watcher where intentional or otherwise, audience members participated directly in recording this relationship and by doing so, reinforcing certain ideas of social hierarchy, body economies and the exoticised other.
Images: still from video, as installed, text, audience and participation. (at BLINDSIDE)

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Wednesday, 06 December


Tonight sees myself and @karencaseyartist talking to Dr Mick... Steven Rhall | Blog

Tonight sees myself and @karencaseyartist talking to Dr Mick Douglas about our residency at the Wyndham Refuse Disposal Facility and WADDA LOADA, the artwork that came from it. Come for the chats, stay for the cheese (at Wyndham Cultural Centre)

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Monday, 04 December


The 5th and final day in Tallangatta for @buildingartonwalls... Steven Rhall | Blog

The 5th and final day in Tallangatta for @buildingartonwalls started with pride in seeing Uncle Larry in the paper but then to end in excruciating abdominal pain and a hospital visit from making bad food choices. I swear Ive learnt this time! Otherwise I installed U CANT HOLD A MEMORY and had a great time talking to mostly locals about my practice and the works in situ. Thanks again @ashleelaing for this amazing opportunity. Im looking forward to coming up for each of the other 3 artists who take over the same walls, for two months at a time and more @teddysjoint fare (which is always a good food choice) #buidingartonwalls (at Tallangatta Hotel)

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Wednesday, 01 November


Springs Narcissus by Safdar Ahmed I'll Be Your First Mate

Given the despairing conditions refugees on Manus Island are currently enduring, we felt it an appropriate time to share and make available for purchase this image, generously donated to us by the the wonderful artist, academic and activist, Safdar Ahmed.


The image features a narcissus flower, which to Iranians and Afghans represents Spring, the New Year and hope for a new beginning. IBYFM is so humbled to be able to share this beautiful work.


Spring's Narcissus by Safdar Ahmed


The image is available for purchase on our Red Bubble website and, as always, 100% of the proceeds made from these sales will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). The image can be printed on t-shirts/hoodies, posters, phone cases, and a number of other items.


As always, there are a range of other images available for purchase on the IBYFM Red Bubble website, with all proceeds going to the ASRC, so do feel free to browse the collection.


With love, and solidarity,



About the Artist

Dr Safdar Ahmed has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sydneys National Art School and completed his PhD in 2010 with the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Sydney. He is a founding member of the Refugee Art Project, for which he conducts art workshops with refugees and asylum seekers in detention. Safdar has published a range of zines and comic illustrations, and in 2015 he won a Walkley Award in the Artwork category for his documentary webcomic, Villawood: Notes from an Immigration Detention Centre.

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Wednesday, 20 September


Change of Location Beside the Yarra

Hi all,

For anyone who has stumbled across this blog, a short note to say that I am re-locating to a new site, which you can find here:

'The Museum of Lost Things' will continue my rambling exploration of Melbourne's forgotten history, but paint on a slightly bigger canvas. So there will be a wider scope of articles, hopefully stuff that you will enjoy.

I will also be transitioning the existing article from here, to there, over the coming weeks.

Anyways, check it out if you have time, and if you have any comments, feedback or suggestions, feel free to drop me a line at

Thanks to everyone who read Beside the Yarra, and hopefully see you on the new page.


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Thursday, 29 November



A day trip to Gippsland and the lush springtime countryside is a wonderful sight. In the foreground, wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum - white charlock or jointed charlock - is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae). To the right, the flowering shrub is hawthorn (Crataegus - May-tree - a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America).

Both of these are introduced species and classified as environmental weeds in many parts of Australia. However, they are a very pretty seasonal sight reminiscent of European meadows and hedgerows.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


A new grassland grows The Gap Year and Beyond

Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic

Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic



Aechmea fasciata (urn plant) is a species of flowering plant in the Bromeliaceae family, native to Brazil. This plant is probably the best known species in this genus, and it is often grown as a houseplant in temperate areas. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The plant grows slowly, reaching 3090 cm in height, with a spread of up to 60 cm. It has ellipticoval-shaped leaves 4590 cm long and arranged in a basal rosette pattern, resembling an urn. A. fasciata requires partial shade and a well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil. It can also be grown epiphytically, as, for example, with moss around its roots and wired to rough bark. Root rot can be a problem if the soil is too moist. Scale insects and mosquitos will sometimes breed in the pools of water that are trapped between the leaves. 

A. fasciata is listed in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database under the section for "Skin irritating substances in plants" and is known to cause contact dermatitis, phytophotodermatitis, and contact allergy.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

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Tuesday, 12 September


September 2017: Update Streams & Desolations

Its a rainy spring morning here in Melbourne, Australia. The sky is a pale, glary grey mass of sheer clouds looming over the still trees. Bright red blossoms have appeared on the gum trees on our street, and the rainbow lorikeets are chattering happily as they feed on the flowers. A mass of daffodils are []

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Thursday, 31 August


Filmonik Melbourne International Filmmaking Kabaret 2017 Filmonik Melbourne

The Filmonik Melbourne 1st International Kabaret, or Filmonik Kabaret in short, is two sessions in two successive weekends of creative, spontaneous, collaborative film-making in a festive shared production environment called the Kinolab, bringing together filmmakers, actors, musicians, writers, technicians and film aficionados. In this Kinolab amateurs and professionals will be called upon making or participating in the making of one or many 5 minute or less short films in these 48 to 72 hours sessions with all other participants. Both sessions will immediately culminate Sunday night with a public screening of the produced short films at Lido Cinema.

Filmmakers: Make films in a positive collaborative environment with access to actors, crew, resources and a guaranteed screening spot. Get the support to make your first film or make your most epic one by meeting a new crew or using everyone whos available as actors.
Writers: Come talk about your ideas and find a director to realise your vision. Brainstorm and find new ideas. Script doctor and assist filmmakers and crew. Get pushed into making your own film even.
Actors: Get featured in as many films as you can to build a Demo Reel. Fall in love with one or two scripts and fully develop a new character. Improvise and have fun with a new creative crew.
Film crew: Try out your new gear and experiment with your craft. Get experience. See how different directors work. Meet new friends.
Post-production artists: Put new VFX shots in your reel. Be the editor of a great short film. Take pictures on set. Exchange tips and tricks with fellow editors and bond as the screening approaches and everyone is tirelessly working around the same table in the style of a hackathon or game jam.
Musicians: Have your old tracks featured in a short film. Compose with a director. Play and hang around in the Kinolab. Jam sessions.

Registration for all participants include access to the Kinolab for 2 weekends and one ticket for each screening.
Directors have to reserve a screening spot for one weekend or two. A director that selects only one screening still has access to the event for both weekends. Screening spots are strictly limited. Some spots may be released last minute but the only way to guarantee a spot is to reserve now.

Once you have paid you will have to fill the registration form to populate your presentation sheet if it is not already done.
You can save on fees by filling the form and paying in person at the next Filmonik screening.

-Key dates-

Thursday Oct 19 6:30pm: First session production meeting.
Friday Oct 20 6:30pm: Kinolab opens to the participants to collaborate and make films until Sunday.
Sunday Oct 22 6:30pm: First session screening at Lido Cinemas.
Friday Oct 27 6:30pm: Second session production meeting and Kinolab re-opens to collaborate and make films until Sunday.
Sunday Oct 29 6:30pm: Second session screening at Lido Cinemas.


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Wednesday, 30 August


On the home front. VICTORIA_STREET

The study/man cave/old layout space now looks a treat (and a lot larger), after a dash of interior acrylic called 'Royal beige 1/2 strength'.  This area has been annexed by the bride as 'her' home office. 

After the neighbours place was sold at auction at a very good price, the works around "casa del Glenno" have notched up from a leisurely 'full series' trundle to a slightly manic 'full parallel' dash. 

With all the prep work and paint going on at the moment, I have discovered that all of my children must suffer an inner ear issue, as they cannot to seem to walk straight along the hall without 'pinballing' off the newly painted walls. This has been remedied by proclaiming from now on that all the walls are made from lava. 

On an another front, my football club has missed out on the finals this year, thus freeing me up to do more with the house this September. It has been stated in the media that the Bulldogs are suffering a premiership hangover, but I am still glad to have this problem as a result of breaking a 62 year drought. 

I did recently obtain another W class tram at a good price, this is the only modelling topic on this post. 

An old photo of the first five,
Now there are six

From amongst the paint tins and colour charts. 


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Friday, 11 August

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Sunday, 16 July


The early removal of services VICTORIA_STREET

The layout has not had a tram cut a notch since the suspension of service notice was issued. Even if I did attempt to roll one out of the shed, the layer of filth and dust on the rails at the moment would render the tram 'insulated'. 

End of an era 

These are not the greatest days of modelling, but in the end, this will only be temporary. As you can imagine, I have a list of tasks that Evil Kinevil would struggle jumping, but then he would find himself in the back of an ambulance after failing such an attempt. 

On the other hand the neighbours have finished their episode of 'grand designs' and their property goes up for auction at the end of the month, this will determine how intently we go from here. 

Over the previous weekend, one month before the original scheduled shutdown, services were suddenly suspended, rollingstock packed away, and the entire 4mm to the foot universe that is Victoria Street was placed into recess and storage.

It is only when one is required to take stock and pack it, that's when you find out that you may be a hoarder. I have found 'assets' that have been long forgotten, the bride during her stocktake has 'rediscovered' her vast collection of fabrics and yarn, therefore at this moment in time, the scores are level. 

As most of you can appreciate, photos are in short supply at the moment with all the fun and games going on.  

I'm sure I can conjure up unpublished finds and then cobble them with enough text as a retrospective, also I can use this time to assist others online and live vicariously through their layouts along with their adventures with tramway modelling. 

From the recently cleaned out study with a bewildered look of where the wires were. 


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Friday, 07 July

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Tuesday, 27 June

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Monday, 19 June


Link Bakowski poetry news

My sixth poetry collection in Australia will be published by Guillotine Press in late July 2017

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Wednesday, 07 June


Moves are afoot. VICTORIA_STREET

I have in the last few months fielded a few enquiries about exhibiting the layout from exhibition managers and followers of the blog. I thought I maybe able entertain one or two exhibitions this year, but in reality the humble abode in which the layout resides along with the bride, three kids, a jack russell terrier, one cranky budgie and myself in is somewhat becoming cramped. 

This can only eventually lead to one conclusion, possible relocation. Soon!

Our current domicile is a quaint 'worker's cottage' in the inner west of Melbourne, while this was extensively renovated nearly ten years ago with a 'study' that I annexed. It is believed no longer able to accommodate my family and all our stuff. 

Therefore, not much at the moment is happening on the layout at this point in time, yet the entire bandwidth of Internet is being utilised on searching for possible candidates.  

As with every potential move, requests are being entertained, mine include a reasonable shed/workshop and some more potential layout/man cave space, as apposed to our current arrangement. 

The kids would like individual rooms, but on most stormy nights would huddle together in the main bedroom with the bride and I, to at which point I make a statement, " why bother with a house when could have a tee-pee."

The bride would appreciate a little space for her interests too, considering she smashed her graduate diploma with high distinctions on the laptop, on her lap and on any somewhat clean level surface in our free standing post office box. She does deserve better. 

Either way, be it through my Nostradamus like thinking or the strict initial limitations placed by the bride, but the concept of a modular layout in this current location may have paid off. 

Originally I opted for a tramway layout that was modular for two basic reasons.


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Tuesday, 09 May


Filmonik #40 Filmonik Melbourne

More info on our Facebook page
RSVP on Meetup

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Wednesday, 28 November


Cultural Diet Advice Black Mark

It would appear to be a reasonable proposition that an art critic aught to be able to tell good art from bad and therefore would be able to advice on an appropriate cultural diet. What to see and what to avoid. Such advice is often obvious when someone is deprived of culture or has a very poor cultural diet, in the same way that it is obvious that a starving person needs food. As in recent reports of Canadian doctors prescribing a visit to an art gallery.


Less obvious, perhaps better aesthetic taste provides a benefit, such as the benefits of a better cultural diet. As yet there is no evidence for this and as so many people have been so very wrong in describing some art as junk food, rotten or poisonous I am loathe to follow their example. If there was equally clear evidence for poor aesthetic taste having detrimental effects it would as likely be around by now, given millennia of bad taste. The idea that someone knows the right kind of culture to consume is to avoided like a fad diet.

Much of our critical vocabulary is based on food: sweet, sour, light, vapid, rotten all summed up in one word, taste. With this jumbo serving of misplaced synesthesia is hard not to imagine that we are in some ways ingesting culture. However food and diet are a poor analogy for cultural consumption and demonstrate why such a common analogies works so badly. We hardly know what the nutritional value of aspects of culture. To call something cultural junk food maybe as misinformed as medieval dietary advice on balancing the four humors.

If culture is at all like food, or exercise, then the best advice is to consume a variety in moderation. Advice that I try to follow in this blog with posts on a variety of types of art and associated cultural matters but that I follow more in my everyday life as I dont generally write about the music, dance and other aspects of my cultural diet in this blog (maybe I should).

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Tuesday, 02 May


Episodes of Bustitution VICTORIA_STREET

Buses, either complement or are the nemesis of tramway operations, but they are a reality. They offer flexible route alternatives without the pork barreling and/or the expense of infrastructure in implementing a tramway.

Victoria Street now has on its roster ( or streets), six buses of four differing types and vintages. 

All buses in the collection are all 1/76 (OO) scale made or offered by mobs such as EFE, Trux, or Oxford, then a maybe a combination of all of the above. 

First cab (bus) of the rank is....

The Austerity bus.
(Oxford Bedford rework)

Loosely based on the unit that featured a timber body that was pressed ganged into service during the darkest days of WW2 before the tramway was extended from the then terminus, Maribrynong River to the government cordite/explosives factory further west over the river.  Most services 'gunned  it' from Footscray railway station with the headboard coded with 'Special E'. 

MMTB 301

This model has 'blackout' white markings on the bumper bars and mud guards. 

Now it's on an enthusiast's excursion. 


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Tuesday, 18 April

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Thursday, 13 April


Some more distractions VICTORIA_STREET

What can I say, I'll do anything than tackle outstanding work on the work bench. The annual leave/household maintenance has come and gone, then closely followed by the Easter school holiday, these scenarios are the thief of modelling time. 

While there is not any pressing issues that require attention on the layout, the rollingstock (anyone remember 821?) are trundled from one end to the other to keep the rails clean and the mechanisms moving. 

When it comes to recent achievements, I have finished the distraction that is the per way loco, introducing SEC 1. 

Nothing like a bit of imagineering. 

The other side project features an aspect of interior design with a tramway theme. Framed genuine W class tram route numbers. 

 82 (Footscray to Moonee Ponds) and 
57 (West Maribyrnong to City via North Melbourne) 

These take pride of place at the top of the stairs leading to the study/man cave with full approval of the bride.

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Sunday, 09 April


Some Bendigo ghost signs Finding the radio book

I've just come back from an overnight stay in the old gold mining city of Bendigo, where I stumbled on a few signs.

Firstly, three on an old building opposite the railway station:

And a bunch of others we stumbled on:

At the derelict gasworks - let gas help you!



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Monday, 03 April


Moving day The Red and Black Architect

Click on the Logo below to continue through to the new look website


The Red +Black Architect started as an after-hours hobby in 2012. It was a platform to talk about architecture and the built environment in a straight forward way, such that the public could get an insight from an architects perspective. Five years on, it has achieved some extraordinary things. From discussions with leading architects and influential politicians through to coverage of major events and local controversies, The Red + Black Architect has provided a unique lens on the architecture scene in Melbourne.

This was only possible due to a confluence of factors for which I am incredibly grateful. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive Melbournes architecture community can be. To all those who have been interviewed, written guest posts, shared content, commented on or read articles, thank you. Particular thanks must also go to Olivia, Sonia, Justine, Alison, Peter and Stuart for your incredible support and encouragement.

Today is moving day. Having outgrown this free wordpress site it is time to turn the page. To kick off the discussion on the brand new website, is the Atelier Red+Black entry into the 2017 NGV Architecture commission.  The new refreshed website is live and can be found at:

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the next generation of The Red+Black Architect

Architecture is for everyone...

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Monday, 13 March


I'm too easily distracted. VICTORIA_STREET

I'm currently on a spot of annual leave from work, so along with the responsibilities of the school run, I have been reliably informed of tasks around the house the require attention, this tends to stifle creativity on and around Victoria Street.

The shell of 821 still resides on blocks at the moment with the chassis hiding in the in the back of the shed, as there is no real hurry to introduce another W class to the roster.

However I have phaffed about with other (non Melbourne) distractions.

Like fitting this powered bogie from a Bachmann San Francisco cable car to this little open platform tram. (Still DC at the moment)

This one of the many static models courtesy of the Atlas release that have inundated the European market and are eagerly motorised by the model tramway community.

We need a bigger tram

Another side project is this obscure steeple cab shunter which was made by Lima. While this does not have any relevance in MMTB operations in history, this will become a per way loco that will be part of the tram depot/museum that is Westside.

A drop in ride height along with new paint, decals and some trolley poles.

A while ago I obtained two Bluerail decoders that operate on the Bluetooth frequency from an app on your smartphone or tablet. One was installed in SW6 870 and after a few teething issues (dirty wheels/track) operates quite well, the spare unit has been fitted into a translucent zippy box with a socket and four LEDs as an ad hock DC controller.


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Tuesday, 07 March


Turning the ship around The Red and Black Architect

2017 marks five years of substantial and sustained cultural change within the Australian Architecture profession. On this International Womens Day it is timely to reflect on how far we have come towards a diverse profession, as well as how far we have still to go.

In May 2012 the website Parlour: Women, Equity Architecture burst onto the scene. Armed with a potent mix of rigorous scientific data and digital media savvy, it demanded attention from all levels of architectural practice. It could no longer be argued that architecture didnt have a gender problem, all that was left was to figure out what to do about it.

It is a debunking project in that it is trying to show the realities of everyday life at work in architecture, not necessarily the kind of glamourous public image, but at the same time there is a lot idiosyncrasy and pleasure, fun and sense of community that happens in architecture where everyone is working together on a common project and really committed. You can see that in the images of people and also workplaces and the minutiae of everyday life of women in architecture Dr. Naomi Stead
(Photo Phuong Le, from Portraits of Practice Exhibition by Parlour)


In 2013 Parlour hosted perhaps its most pivotal event to date, Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture. The central question of this full day seminar was: If architecture were more inclusive would it also be in a stronger position? This broad ranging question intentionally made diversity everyones business.

Transform was also the debut of what eventually became the Parlour Guides for Equitable Practice. This award winning and internationally significant publication takes individuals and practices through the major causes and resolutions of inequality in architecture.  These guides have had such an impact, that the American Institute of Architects is now beginning to look at producing a similar set of guides for their own members.

Perhaps change over the last five years has been most notable in the Australian Institute of Architects itself. In 2013 the Institute announced its new Gender Equity Policy and a National Committee for Gender Equity. This triggered a raft of changes within the AIA, some subtle, others more obvious. There have been CPD events, med...

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Monday, 20 February


Melbournes White Night 2017 "IndyWatch Feed"

Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations.

Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.  The Light show entitled Rhythms Of The Night by White Night & Artists In Motion, depicted the four stages of sleep. These fantastical scenes were at times like that of a Halloween nightmare, with spiders and skeletons. The dream would them move on by disintegrating into vibrant black and white patterns reminiscent of MC Escher.

Supporting this main event, were a number of excellent installations throughout the Carlton Gardens Precinct. Sailing in between the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building was The Pyrophone Juggernaut. Part steel pirate ship, part musical performance, part pyrotechnic show this collaboration between Hubbub Music and Strut & Fret was a real crowd favorite. Nearby, the Sonic Light Bubble by Eness and Pixel Fruit by Tim Newman both created valuable support pieces to this precinct, which as a whole was a significant improvement from previous years.


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Sunday, 19 February


A short update. VICTORIA_STREET

Not much to report, 821 is still up on blocks in the workshop (the workbench), then 800 decided to have an episode, so a quick trip to the Go-Box combined with some harsh reeducation and all is well.

One thing I did do is have a fidgit with the smartphone, I shot some video and then to proceeded to phaff about with an editing app to deliver this rather slick/sloppy clip, so sit back and waste about ninety seconds of your life.

From under the wires, behind the smartphone all going well.

Regards Glenn

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Wednesday, 15 February


Ill Be Your First Mate: Art, Advocacy, and the Assuming White I I'll Be Your First Mate

by Daniella Trimboli

** This article was published in conjunction with the The Pin: a discussion platform run by biracial Australians for all Australians. Our sincere thanks to Lucie Cutting & Nkechi Anele for their fine work and support. **



Ill Be Your First Mate (IBYFM) started in Melbourne in 2014 with the aim of creating an alternative space for the reinterpretation of asylum seeker rhetoric. Conceptualised by visual artist Ry Wilkin, politics Ph.D. candidate Tia Di Biase and me, Daniella Trimboli, a (then) cultural studies Ph.D. candidate, the collaborative organisation sought to create an artistic space where people could creatively rethink dominant understandings of asylum seekers, refugees, and migration. The project began humblytwo Ph.D. candidates and one visual artist feeling frustrated by the ironically immobilising political debate about the phenomenon of global mobility. Two years and a substantial hiatus later, we are clearer about what it is that we want the project to be and where wed like it to go. As we consolidate our aims and outcomes, we become aware of the need to more clearly position the project. In particular, the need to explore the question: Who is the I who says Ill be your first mate? The hermeneutics of this statement undoubtedly implicates the project within a certain structure of race politics, a point we have been aware of since the projects inception. From the onset, we have been conscious of the ways in which whiteness infiltrates public art and human rights interventions, even when the intentions of these interventions are affirmative. This article considers how whiteness can haunt advocacy work for asylum seekers, including our own work.


From Apathy to Action

Ry, Tia, and I developed IBYFM in response to a mutual concern that we were each falling into a pit of political apathy. Like many Australians, we were overwhelmed by the newly elected Abbott Governments relentlessly grotesque treatment of asylum seekers. We rationed our intakes of news and political commentary on the topic, inevitably switching off altogether. We ritualised this performance, spinning ourselves into internal rages that rendered us silent. It was hardly a novel experience. When we spoke to others we realised they were doing the same danceany mention of Abbotts Australia and the treatment of refugees and they would quietly shake their heads, bewildered.

Essentially, we were being shocked into submission. We knew we had to do something differently if we were to remain attached politically and ensure that this Abbott guy would not get away with such follybut what? At first, we toyed with the idea of inverting the exaggerated discourse on asylum seeker boats into a pro-asylum seeker stance with art. Rys visual art practice has a flair for illustration, animation, and street art. At that time, the word boats saturated political discourse, usually preceded by the words stop the. What if we took boats to its exaggerated limits? We considered stencilling boats, all sorts of boatsfishing boats, row boats, cruise ship boats, asylum seeker boats, cargo boatsas far and wide as possible on the streets of Melbourne, alongside the slogan: We Heart Boats. This approach would begin with the same strategy of exaggeration being deployed by the government, then invert it. Ry made our first stencila hybrid boat formed from many types of boatsand we prepared to hit the streets, but not before our doubts surfaced.

Is it really appropriate to say that we heart boats, even if to make a point?

What if people miss the point?

Will people think we are making light of a very dire situation?

Are we making light of a very dire situation?

We decided to pause to bolster the vision of the project.

The three of us agreed on four things about the contemporary asylum seeker rhetoric, and it was these four things that we targeted. First, many Australians were not getting accurate information about asylum seekers and refugees. The persistent use of simplistic slogans like stop the boats and queue jumpers, in combination with the strategic shutdown of legitimate information sites about asylum seeker arrivals, was exacerbating the long-held misconceptions about refugees in this co...


Toil: An animation by Ry Wilkin in response to Caitlin McGregors poem I'll Be Your First Mate

In 2016, Caitlin McGregor submitted a poem to IBYFM, Toil, which we published on our website in August 2016.

The IBYFM team recently learned that resident artist Ry Wilkin was prompted to create a short animated loop in response to McGregors poem, which we share below.

TW ** Please note that both the animation and the poem come with a trigger warning: sexual and physical abuse; violence against women, violence against children; miscarriage**



Animation GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Tuesday, 27 November



Werribee Open Range Zoo is an African themed zoo in Werribee, about 32 kilometres south-west of Melbourne. It is part of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board or 'Zoos Victoria' which also includes Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. It is situated on approximately 225 hectares (560 acres) and is located on the Werribee River in Werribee Park, adjacent to the Werribee Mansion. It was originally agistment land to the Melbourne Zoo.

Visitors to the zoo can take a bus tour, which normally lasts 3540 minutes, multiple times a day, and takes up to 140 people per bus. The tour includes animals such as the hippo as well as animals of the grassland, such as zebra, waterbuck, giraffe, ostrich and rhinoceros, as well as the camel and the oryx. The zoo has a simulated African village, with educational and entertaining features, including a mock scenario of an African ranger and his adventures tracking lions, and an interactive soundscape walk with simulated lion sounds surrounding the walker.

There are two independent trails that visitors may follow: the Pula Reserve Walking Trail which focuses on African animals, including lions, vervet monkeys, cheetahs and meerkats, and the Australian Journey Walk, which focuses on Australian animals, like the koala, emu and kangaroo as well as the cassowary.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.



This Week in Melbourne: What's On #622 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week: 27 November - 3 December 2018 Newsletter | #622 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 27th November 2018 to Monday 3rd December 2018 Salvos Concert Spectacular: Our Christmas Gift Paris to Provence | French Festival Gatsby High Tea Party The Big Design Market Back To Scratch - Friday Night Live Cake Bake and Sweets Show Espana El Vito - Spirit of Spain and Lord of the Strings Australian Tattoo Expo Weekend Wrap Outdoor Cinema School Of Rock | The Musical Christmas Gift Extravaganza Coburg Night Market Creedence 50th Anniversary Show New Years Eve - H2o Riverside Enjoy #Melbourne Our Christmas Gift - Concert Spectacular The Salvation Army presents Our Christmas Gift - Concert Spectacular at Melbourne Entertainment Centre on Saturday 1 December 2018. View Details: Our Christmas Gift | Buy Tickets Online Paris to Provence | French Festival 30th Nov - 2nd Dec 2018 | Como House and Garden A French popup village with a weekend of festivities including roaming entertainment and the very best in French food and wine. Paris to Provence | French Festival 2018 Gatsby High Tea Party Join us for a night worthy of Jay Gatsby himself and party the night away at Mary Eats Cake High Tea venues in Brunswick and Montrose. Marys Gatsby Soiree (BRUNSWICK) Friday November 30 2018 Brunswick | Book Online Marys Gatsby Soiree (MONTROSE) Saturday December 1 2018 Montrose | Book Online The Big Design Market 30th Nov - 2nd Dec 2018 | Royal Exhibition Building Join us for 3 days of Christmas shopping with 230 stallholders, designer showbags, delicious food and drinks, workshops and free kids activities. The Big Design Market 2018 School Of Rock | The Musical Limited Season November and December 2018 | Her Majestys Theatre ANDREW LLOYD WEBBERS HIT MUSICAL School Of Rock | The Musical | Friday Night Live Music | November Licensed Bayswater venue featuring live music every Friday night. 30th November - Back To Scratch View Details: Live At London Eleven | Buy Tickets Here Espana El Vito - Spirit of Spain and Lord of the Strings Friday 30th November 2018 | Deakin Edge Theatre Internationally renowned 10 String Virtuoso Guitarist Matthew Fagan aka Lord of the Strings! returns to Melbourne with 2 shows in 1 night. Espana El Vito | Buy Tickets Cake Bake and Sweets Show 30th Nov - 2nd Dec 2018 | Melbourne Exhibition Centre Australias original live event for baking, cake decorating, sweets and desserts, workshops, live demonstrations and classes. Cake Bake and Sweets Show 2018...


Acrobatic antics for a good feed The Gap Year and Beyond

During spring the understory throughout Greens Bush has been in full bloom. Amongst the many birds that I saw feeding on the flowers was this White-naped Honeyeater. I mostly see this species  higher in the canopy and more often hear them as they make their distinctive calls. I think it was a fairly young bird to allow me to get so close to watch it as it moved arobatically around several low bushes. It was a good opportunity to photograph this beautiful little bird with the lovely orange eye lid.

White naped honeyeater, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

White naped honeyeater, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic


1905 - in art, science, films, Canadian confederation, Bengal partition and Russian revolution ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

I normally think of the Edwardian era as time of culture, literature, science, medicine and peace. But 1905 began with a series of strikes and demonstrations in the Russian streets. In Jan a protest march in St Petersburg was led by a workers organisation, the Assembly of Russian Factory and Plant Workers. c200,000 marchers moved to the Winter Palace to present petitions to the Tsar, but soon 1,000 protestors lay shot dead that Bloody Sunday. Anger spread throughout Russia with more strikes and marches. In March the universities were shut down by radicals. In July, sailors on the battleship Potemkin mutinied in Odessa and avoided death only when the firing squad seized the ship instead. Odessas citizens turned out to support the sailors and many were massacred on the steps leading to the wharf.

Albert Einstein 1905

In St Petersburg Leon Trotsky set up a Soviet Workers Council to organise opposition to the Tsar. But Trotsky and his supporters were soon imprisoned. A revolutionary spirit arose, but it lacked the necessary central organisation to overthrow the government. After the limited reforms of 1905 when a political amnesty was granted, Lenin briefly returned to Russia from Geneva, then left again when the Tsarists cracked down on dissidents.

Any protest was met with a brutal response and anti-Semitic pogroms increased. In Odessa c2,500 Jews were killed in a single day; Kishinev had two pogroms; in Mariupol, 21 Jews died and their shops were destroyed.

Bloody Sunday 1905
St Petersburg

Tsar Nicholas II had to head off a revolution. He promised to allow the creation of a state Duma-assembly but the proposed Duma limitations led to further protests. In Oct 1905 a general strike was called. Reluctantly Nicholas drafted the October Manifesto, a series of proposed reform measures that granted civil rights, free political parties, universal voting provisions and the establishment of the Duma as the national assembly.

In late 1905 the mystic Grigori Rasputin (18691916) was introduced by the Tsar's cousins and quickly became a trusted advisor to Emperor Nicholas II and a loved confidante to his Empress. Rasputin used his miraculous faith-healing powers in the Romanov family home.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Mileva Mari married in 1903 and had their first son in 1904 in Switzerland. But it was 1905 that was a frantic, miracle year for the young scientist. He published four papers, formulated the theory of special relativity and explained the photo-electric effect. In April he worked on the special theory of relativity. He published his paper "On a heuristic viewpoint concerning the production and transformation of light" in May. Here he explained the photo-electric effect and submitted his doctoral dissertation On the Motion of Small Particles.

In June Einstein published an article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies where he publicly revealed his theory of special relativity. He soon submitted his paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Conte...

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Sunday, 29 January


Untitled submission by 5 year old I'll Be Your First Mate

This picture was drawn by a five-year old Tamil asylum seeker, living in residential detention, and submitted via one of the detention home workers.

The following statement was submitted with the picture:

At the time [of doing the drawing] she was 5. Still in detention, will probably be until she turns 18 or is sent home to her parents (refoulement). They couldnt afford to pay the people smugglers, so borrowed from a loan shark. This means that both mum and dad are working hard to pay back the loan and couldnt leave the country. The boat ride was traumatic, she was squished under other people for most of the journey. She came with siblings, also young, but no adult. Drawing made just after release from closed detention.

Untitled submission by 5 year old

Shared with permission.



I cannot believe it's nearly four and half years ago that the empire expanded to five W class trams*, yet to have all in service at once has not yet really been achieved.

The family portrait from then.

A lot of decoders and exhibitions have trundled by, along with the extension to the running lines and an inclusion of a depot. After a summer break that did not engage the usual serious intervention*, the consideration once again looks to rollingstock.

The static W5 812 was roughly fitted with a rolling DC chassis at the time but was left like a wallflower on the shelf as the other W's were retro fitted with DCC and lights. This W5 812 was earmarked to be re-imagined as W5 795, but with a little research W5 821 was the only canvas two door W5 painted in the then new corporate green and gold of the metropolitan transit authority, this now saves me a paint job. It was also unsuccessfully fitted with trolley retrievers to the apron, another little detail to differentiate it from the rest. here is my work in progress.

Work in progress

The chassis (Bachmann Mech) with the NCE 13SRJ decoder fitted under the drop center.

W5 821 going for a trundle down Collins St in the City .

The decoder was appropriated from my SW6 870 (since fitted with Blu-rai...

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Thursday, 12 January


2017: Good byes and fresh starts, books, and parenting Streams & Desolations

Its a warm Thursday afternoon in the middle of the summer school holidays. The sun is shining, the cicadas are chirping, and Im listening to classical music. The kids are playing video games and, as always, conveniently not hearing my repeated admonitions to switch off their games and give their eyes a rest from the []

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Friday, 30 December


Something different. VICTORIA_STREET

How does one make a layout a little different and offer some other entertainment. A narrative requires conflict in an effort to define a hero or a villain, enter tank warfare.

These were obtained in the Christmas Day draft that is Kris Kringle at the outlaws.

One of German decent the other somewhat soviet.

While Melbourne avoided direct contact with the enemy during WW2 other than the odd surveillance aircraft sporting bright red dots as an insignia, that what followed with the associated level of domestic anti aircraft fireworks. this city managed to continue on as a hub for munitions and logistics during the great conflict.    

The latest interaction features two small remote control battle tanks of indeterminable scale. but they do offer another dimension of theatre.

These little pieces of conflict are operated on the common remote frequencies of 27Mhz and 40Mhz, their only downfall is that they tend to run at full speed, regardless of straight line speed or turning and under certain circumstances prototypically throw their tank treads thus rendering them disabled.  I may have to 'adjust' their enthusiasm.

These micro examples of warfare use the concept of infra red signals to impact the other, after a four "hits" the receiver is disabled. The entertaining part is that the delivering tank 'recoils' on firing while the victim 'twitches' on  impact.

Waiting its turn at the gates.

The visitors are taking advantage of Oktoberfest at the racecourse.

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Tuesday, 20 December


2016: A fork in the road The Red and Black Architect

It is hard to remain positive reflecting upon the year that is now rapidly drawing to a close. 2016 has been a difficult and particularly disliked year. To the despair of many, the world lost some of its cultural giants, David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen and Mohamed Ali, to name a few. At times it seemed like a week could not pass without another icon leaving our midst.

Australian architecture also lost giants. Paul Pholeros AM the founder and driving force behind Health Habitat, Romaldo Giurgola the architect responsible for Australias New Parliament House, Stephen Ashton from ARM in his AIA Gold Medal year, and another Gold Medallist Peter Corrigan AM, from Edmond and Corrigan all left us in 2016. They will all be greatly missed for what they gave the architecture profession.

Many will look back on 2016 as the year of Brexit and Trump. The year great democracies chose building walls over building bridges. Australia, despite our geographic isolation, has not been left out of this reactionary, fear driven club. Our Federal politicians are building their own fence, around our Parliament House. The house Romaldo Giurgola designed as an expression of our democratic freedoms, is to be undermined by wire and steel, excising the building from the founding ideals of our democracy.

Romaldo Giurgola designed this building so that you had very good access to the people so it expressed freedom, it didnt in any way express exclusivity. Putting a fence around it is putting a noose around it. Glenn Murcutt

The popular thinking for the moment is that if we continue to build walls, fences, detention camps and surveillance we will eventually be able to isolate the good from the evil. We will be able to prevent unwanted people, unwanted ideas and unwanted change. Those within the sanctuary will prosper and those outside it, well who cares about them anyway.

New Parliament House by Romaldo Giurgola

New Parliament House by Romaldo Giurgola

This ideology of divisiveness will not deliver harmony nor prosperity. It will instead harbour inequality and resentment, which are at the very cause of the anger levelled against our democracies and the fear within them.

The real work of an architect today is to have a vision of the future of life
Jean Nouvel

As we approach a new...

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Monday, 12 December


Beyond Sculpture: Melbournes new Habitat Filter The Red and Black Architect

In a city that boasts an impressive collection of freeway architecture and roadside sculpture, Melbournes new Habitat Filter looks to set a new benchmark in urban art.


The Power Street Loop has been an industrial by-product since the construction of CityLink by Transurban in the late 1990s. This island site sits isolated inside a ring of bitumen and fast moving traffic, but is now home to Melbournes latest piece of urban art Habitat Filter.

The project itself is the result of an open design competition held by Transurban. Landcare Australia were looking to re-vegetate and rehabilitate the site, whilst Transurban were also looking for a sculpture that would sit comfortably within the adjacent arts precinct.

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Friday, 09 December


It's beginning to look alot like Christmas VICTORIA_STREET

Another year rolls around and before you know, it's Christmas. Therefore as I have done in years past,
here is this years Christmas card from Victoria Street.

As always I wish all the blog followers the best for the season, the usual rules around safety, the fact the one cannot consume their weight in food and beverages and not suffer the consequences and in the end it's all about quality time with family that involves bringing joy to the little ones.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From under the tinsel and the wires.

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Wednesday, 07 December


Desivolution The Red and Black Architect

Architecture is a reflection of culture. For architects, understanding and responding to culture through design is a critical part to achieving buildings that resonate with people.   

Architect and Atelier Red+Black co-director Sonia Sarangi, has been investigating the evolving Indian culture in Melbourne which has now led to a solo photographic exhibition at Magnet Gallery in Melbourne.  


The evolution of Indian culture in Melbourne is still very much a work in progress. Whilst many would be familiar with the butter chicken and Bollywood stereotypes, there is far greater diversity and depth to Indian culture than what is commonly portrayed. For Sonia, exploring how the Indian food scene was adapting and thriving within Melbourne was a window into this evolution.


People call Melbourne the sports capital of the world, but I also call it the food capital. Melbourne has so many cultures, people here come from every single part of the globe. We have another restaurant in New York, however the Melbourne restaurant is the original. Usually trends come from the United States, however this is the other way around. One thing I can say, with my hand on my heart, is that Melbourne is way ahead of New York when it comes to food.


Babuji, St Kilda


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Wednesday, 30 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 30 Streams & Desolations

It is finished, and while I hit my 50,000 target word count on Day 25, I continued writing. This is not only the first NaNoWriMo in which I reached 50,000 significantly earlier than the cut-off date, it is also the first one in which I wrote every single day. I cant recall the exact statistics, []


After the epic sports hiatus. VICTORIA_STREET

"With the breaking of the long suffering premiership drought together with the time honoured spring racing carnival on top of the bride absolutely smashing her post graduate studies, services have resumed along Victoria Street."

Other than the odd shuffle of services along Victoria Street, I did make some headway into a drawn out project, my interpretation of MMTB freight 19.

On a mail run to Victoria Street 

The prototype 
(Photo Trams Downunder)

The prototype freight 19 started off as a single truck saloon tram, built by Brill and assembled in Australia, originally plied its trade for the then NMETL (North Melbourne Electric Tramway & Light Company). 

These trams ran services through the inner north west of Melbourne, which connected with the then cable (city) tram at Flemington Bridge to the then outer suburbs of Essendon and Ascot Vale. 

After the consolidation of all municipal tramways under the banner of the MMTB, these little trams found themselves operating on short cross suburban routes until they were retired into freight duties.

These freight duties involved the distribution of departmental mail and supplies from Preston Workshops/stores to outlying tram depots, as trams they could access deep into the sheds over pits to deposit such items as brake blocks plus other bits and pieces. 


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Friday, 25 November


NaNoWriMo Day 25 Streams & Desolations

I just reached the 50,438 words count so now its official I have attained the title of NaNoWriMo Winner* for the fourth year in a row with my rambling, chronologically confused and in-desperate-need-of-editing sci-fi fantasy Chloes War. And quite frankly, I want to keep writing it. While Im glad I finished it before the []

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Tuesday, 22 November


Finally - the Happy Thoughts Tobacco sign on High Street Thornbury Finding the radio book

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks - the first decent uncovering in quite a while. (I've had issues with my phone not being recognised by my new computer...)

The Happy Thoughts Tobacco sign has recently been revealed in High Street Thornbury - an area of northern Melbourne that has taken the mantle of the latest hipster epicentre. And so it's not entirely unrelated that this part of our city is now "apartment development central", hence the tearing down of the building that has hidden this sign for nearly a century.

You can see the sign was painted by the Hancock and Taylor firm:

 A quick search on Google shows that Happy Thoughts was produced by a local company called Dudgeon & Arnell Pty Ltd. These guys had a knack for kooky promotions it seems:



NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 22 Streams & Desolations

Current word count: 45,970/50,000 words. Todays writing soundtrack: ABC Classic FM radio (and the sound of one of the neighbours dogs howling ugh people, please: if you cant give a dog the attention he or she needs to be psychologically healthy, maybe you ought to not have a dog. Keeping a highly sociable pet []

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Monday, 26 November



While walking in the Parklands, I am always fascinated by the details and I am frequently on all fours taking macro shots while looking closely at something or other...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme.


150 years celebrating St Pancras railway station, London ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

I love travelling on trains and ships, but not so much on planes. 

St Pancras is a C19th station that provides regional, inter-city, continental services to London. It is Londons second busiest railway station, the terminus for Eurostar trains arriving from Europe. But who was St Pancras?

A short Latin account of his martyrdom suggested that Pancras was born to a wealthy Christian family in Phrygia (Turkey). After the death of his parents, he moved to Rome with his guardian. There they both gave shelter to Christians persecuted by the Emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD). When the Emperor heard of Pancras efforts to save Christians, he immediately summoned him. He tried to dissuade the 14 year old him from Christianity but Pancras was adamant. Enraged, the Emperor ordered Pancras' immediate beheading and burial in Rome c287CE.

What made Saint Pancras' cult so potent were the miracles associated with his relics. No wonder that Pancras relics were soon distributed to many other churches, towns and countries, even Britain. The relics of Pancras sent by popes to England were used to re-consecrate old Romano-British churches. And as a result, churches dedicated to Pancras include St Pancras Old Church in Camden, from which the railway station took its name.

Before the 1860s, the London Midland & Scottish Railway/LMS had no direct line into London, routing its goods and passenger traffic via the London and North Western railway to Euston, and from 1858 via a route into Kings Cross station, operated by the Great Northern Railway. They wished to extend its line from Bedford to London in order to compete for the Yorkshire railway traffic. Following disputes in 1862, Midland Railway got a bill from Parliament for a route from its line at Bedford via Luton and St Albans into St Pancras, its suitably grand terminus! 

St Pancras Station and Midland Grand Hotel

The Victorian neo-gothic station was designed and built in two parts; the train building and the hotel frontage. Midlands consultant engineer, William Henry Barlow, designed the extension route and station layout, including the single span arched train shed built from iron and glass. At 243 by 110 high at its apex, it was then the largest ironwork structure of its kind. As the 6 platforms were tied to the ribs, the train shed area was spacious compared to other sites, making the structure much more flexible.

Because the line had to bridge the Regents Canal, the platforms at St Pancras were built on a high, imposing level. Resting on 850 cast iron pillars, this gave the station space underneath for storage of goods. The distance between the columns was measured using one of the Midland Railways most lucrative goods: beer.

In 1865, a competition was held to design the front of the station and hotel, won by famous neo-gothic architect George Gilbert Scott. Construction of the hotel started in 1868, but an economic downturn meant that the prominent Midland Grand Hotel was only finished in 1876. The hotel was expensive, with a grand staircase, rooms with gold leaf walls and a fireplace in every room.

In 1923 St Pancras was transferred to the management of the London Midland & Scottish Railway which focused its activities on Euston. And so began the decline of St Pancras over 60 years. In 1935 the Midland Grand Hotel was closed due to falling business, so the building was used instead as office accommodation for railway staff and renamed St Pancras Chambers.



MIUC 271118: Mat Watson/Jen Tait; Peter Hyde/Christian Bishop; Ooilou Experimental Melbourne

PETER HYDE/CHRISTIAN BISHOP (Incompetent guitar fumblings and grunts of frustrated confusion seductively coupled with CPU OCD triggered blasts mutated from the golden age of breakcore sewerage)
OOILOU (Violin/Clarinet/Voice/Body/Pedals)

04/12: David Chesworth/Byron Scullin; Naretha Korvin/Carly Sheppard; Ju Ca/Corin Ileto
11/12: Maria Chavez (US/PE); Philip Brophy/Mary Doumany; Rayhan Sudjurat
18/12: End of year party feat: Will Guthrie (FR/AU); Kangaroo Skull/Morgan Wright; Fia Fiell/Simon Karis; Badies; Video Ezy; Josten Myburgh (WA)/Michael McNab

Details for our 21st birthday festival in January to be announced soon!

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Monday, 21 November


The dark side of architectural education The Red and Black Architect

Architecture is one of the most intense university courses one can pursue.  Chelsea Doorne, a fourth year Master of Architecture student, shines a torch on the dark side of the architecture student experience. 

Architecture school and dedication are synonymous, however more often than not, this devotion to the art of design comes at a cost.

A recent survey conducted by the Architects Journal documented that 1 in 4 architecture students are suffering from mental health issues, with a further 26% stating that they would likely seek treatment and professional help in the future. This is hardly surprising given that when searching architecture student, images of solitary students crouched over models are accompanied by a smattering of memes depicting feelings of rejection, chaos, and most predominantly, forced insomnia. This deeply embedded culture of overworking and negativity is one of the primary reasons why mental health is such a prevalent issue within the architectural student community.

Long hours are one of the most recognisable traits of the architecture student community, with almost 1 in 3 students reporting that they work through the night on a regular basis. This common place experience of sleep deprivation within architecture school is widely known and also referenced by a number of blogs such as architorture school. Among students, stating your longest time awake can become akin to a competition, and often be seen as an implied level of success in the studio realm. This normalising of nocturnal study isnt just supported by students, with there being an expectation to work throughout the night imposed by many tutors. The large workload of the degree, noted as being one of the heaviest, can also contribute to the frequency of all-nighters with the design process demanding an unquantifiable number of hours. It is common for a designer to feel that the process is never truly complete, even when the final deadline has long passed. With one often feeling as though a large amount of improvements which can be made, unlike a finance report, for instance, which is completed when all the data has been entered.

The ever present threat of time, or lack thereof, is added to by the expectation of students to work part time in firms to gain experience and in the case of some universities, it is a requirement for graduation. In a course where, particularly at Masters level, most timetables demand the full five days of study, many students are skipping classes to satisfy these demands. The high requirement of these hours along with the prevalence of some internships that (illegally) pay in experience over money, lead to many students experiencing financial difficulties throughout their degree. Although the job market for architects is currently looking positive, it is also highly competitive and many universities no longer offer study placement programs, making these positions increasingly difficult to secure. This stress of gaining necessary, yet difficult to find experience, coupled with the already stressful study period is a large contributing factor to the poor mental health of architecture students.

These monetary stresses extend into the cost of study which is notoriously expensive. While university text books are expensive across the board, the constant need to print and construct models can often blow an already tight student budget, with some models costing in excess of $300, and printing frequently exceeding $100 per presentation. These expenses (coupled with expensive software, computers and the cost of travel for site visits), can force many students to switch to a part-time load, adding time to an already lengthy degree.

The overarching costs of the degree as a whole, when coupled with poor pay and employment prospects, paint a bleak outlook for the average architecture student.

The critique or design review of the architecture degree is well known from day one in architecture school, and the negative stigma that...

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Wednesday, 16 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 16: in which I hardly mention NaNo at all Streams & Desolations

So, NaNo, hey? 35,928/50,000 words at the start of Day 16. Like, how?! In previous years I wouldve been lucky to be 19,000+ words into writing by this stage. Maybe practice makes perfect. The more terrible novels I write, the slightly less terrible they become each time. But Ive been drifting a bit and getting []

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Tuesday, 15 November


NaNoWriMo 2016: Days 11-15 Streams & Desolations

Friday, 11 November Child No. 2 had her annual concert costume fitting and photo portrait day at ballet school, which meant having to tap out the days word count as early as possible in order to prepare all the make up and hair styling products. Funny how motherhood so often entails being multi-skilled at a []

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Sunday, 13 November


Negotiating Form: Q+A with Kerstin Thompson (Part 2) The Red and Black Architect

Recently Michael Smith and Sonia Sarangi sat down for an in depth conversation with Kerstin Thompson, one of Melbournes most highly respected architects, to discuss the built environment, form making and the relentless negotiation required to create excellent architecture.

This is the second part of the interview, to read from the beginning click here

Timber detail from Deakin University School of Architecture and Building, Kerstin Thompson Architects

Timber detail from Deakin University School of Architecture and Building, Kerstin Thompson Architects


Michael Smith: Previously youve spoken about your architecture as being a gradient architecture. Is this a conscious benchmark or is it a result of the process?

Kerstin Thompson: I wrote about gradients a long time ago the thinking came from a classic late 80s training in architecture where all oppositions were being challenged. Anything that was black or white I was always looking for the grey. You think about things on a spectrum rather than one or the other. The article reflected on the kinds of formal outcomes a gradient architecture might offer. I think that idea still permeates through a lot of our projects where the situation presented is not an either or its an in-between and you need to formulate a response to that.

In relation to our Deakin School of Architecture and Built Environment / A+B this idea of gradients relates to different kinds of spaces and how they relate to each other. The schools existing floorplan was highly cellular and comprised of discrete spaces. We shifted this to a more fluid arrangement, rethinking the formal binaries of public vs private spaces, smaller spaces to bigger spaces, intimate space/open space, quiet space/loud space. Exploring the space between these two ends is often an important driver our projects. You offer a range of spaces and it makes available different sorts of positions; people find their preference and make their choices within that.

MS: So it is a deliberate strategy to put that in?

KT: Yes I think it is. It came from when I was teaching in th...

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Thursday, 10 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 8, 9, 10 Streams & Desolations

Current word count, as at 10 November 2016: 23,092/50,000 words. Im doing way better on word count this time around, as compared to previous years. Its quite exciting! Its Thursday morning here in Melbourne and I think that like a lot of the rest of the world who followed the US elections with considerable interest, []

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Monday, 07 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 5,6,7 Streams & Desolations

Its Day 7 of NaNoWriMo here in Melbourne, Australia. What started out as a sunny spring day is now clouding over, as a north wind blows warm pollen-heavy air across the hills and into my sinuses. God bless the inventor of antihistamines. I just noticed that the NaNoWriMo widget at the bottom of my WordPress []


Negotiating Form: Q+A with Kerstin Thompson (Part 1) The Red and Black Architect

Kerstin Thompson is one of Australias most respect architects. Her practice Kerstin Thompson Architects was established in 1994 and has delivered architectural excellence across a broad spectrum of project types from education projects, police stations and commercial fit outs, as well as multi-residential and single bespoke homes. Recently Michael Smith and Sonia Sarangi sat down for an in depth conversation with Kerstin to discuss the built environment, form making and the relentless negotiation required to create excellent architecture.


Kerstin Thompson


Michael Smith: As one of Melbournes leading architects, how do you evaluate the development of our city? What do you think were doing well and where do we need to lift our game?

Kerstin Thompson: I often bang on about how housing matters because most construction activity is housing. If you get housing wrong youre buggering up your city. In my teaching in Wellington, but also in my practice here, I often lead research around higher density forms of housing. Recently one of my thesis students did an interim presentation to an academic from Newcastle University on the topic and his comment was its so unusual seeing thesis projects on housing. In Newcastle we think its too hard so we dont encourage students to tackle it. I thought what a failure not to ask students to think about a substantial part of the citys formation.

MS: Its an extraordinary approach.

KT: It is. Im always surprised that housing is seen as a prosaic topic in universities, that its not viewed as a place for innovation and good thinking. I think were realizing that Melbourne, despite priding itself on its architectural cultural, is missing the mark in terms of housing quality. This crisis is reflected in the design of minimum standards but its 10 years too late. That said, any turnaround is something.

MS: That leads directly into my second question, which is exactly on those draft apartment standards. Are they a good result or a missed opportunity?

KT: Theyre a good start. Minimum size always alarms me because I do think there are cases where size is not the determinant of a living spaces quality or public realm benefit. Wh...

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Friday, 04 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 3 + 4 Streams & Desolations

DAY 3 started out very well. I smashed out 1700 words very quickly, caught up with a friend for coffee, uploaded some new art to my RedBubble portfolio, picked up the kids from school, took them to the public library for our weekly book borrowing session, Child No. 2 got to ballet lessons on time []

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Thursday, 20 October


Art Stall Market Silent Image - Blog

On 30/10/2016 I am to set up a Art stall at The Beehive Market Sun 12 PM  The Hood  Preston, VIC. 

I plan on selling various digital art, a few original pieces as well as cards/post cards.

We will see how it goes.

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Wednesday, 19 October


A few from France and Germany Finding the radio book

It's been a while! I've just returned from a quick and intense family trip to France and Germany and managed to snap a few signs in passing. I actually saw a lot more than shown here: some were impossible to photograph from high-speed trains (including some great wall-sized signs in Paris' outer suburbs) and others were encountered when my phone had run out of power. C'est la vie. So here are the few I did manage to snap.

 Montmartre, Paris:


 Somewhere in the north of Paris:

Strasbourg - only just got the building side in time in this bad shot:


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Monday, 17 October


The Salt Lake Band bring music and culture of Groote Eylandt to Yabun Festival "IndyWatch Feed"

All the way from Groote Eyelandt in the Northern Territory, the 11 member Salt Lake Band will make history next January when they become the largest band to ever grace the stage at Yabun Festival, one of the nations biggest and longest running annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and culture events.

Formally known as Yantarrgna Band (after lead singer/song-writer Brandon Yantarrgna), Salt Lake Band consist of brothers, uncles, cousins and grandfathers, all hailing from the Warnindilyakwa family group.

Were feeling really proud and excited that our mob, Groote Eylandt, Warnindilyakwa mob, from Top End, Gulf of Carpentaria, can have a voice in Sydney at Yabun with all our Koori brothers and sisters, we have never travelled that far from our Island, says Basil Mamarika, a young elder and spokesman of the Umbakumba community and member of Salt Lake Band.

The name of Salt Lake Band springs from a special part of the band members traditional lands, bringing with it their song-lines and Dreamings, all sung in Anindilyakwa language. Mixing rock, blues and reggae, and incorporating the band members totems of dugong, turtle, whale, dolphin, seagull and shark, Salt Lake Bands songs share the sacredness and potency of the Warnindilyakwa Dreamtime.

The Salt Lake Band share a 10 year history and have headlined at several major Indigenous music and cultural events including Garma, Barunga, and the Alice Springs Bush Bands Bash. Based in their home community of Umbakumba (which has a total population of 350 people) the bands language group is distinct from Yolngu, belonging exclusively to Groote Eyelandt.

Proud representatives of their language group and culture, Salt Lake Band have gained the financial support of their own Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) to make the long trek to Sydney in order to share their music and culture with the Yabun audience, providing a special added cultural element to the 2017 Yabun Festival which already features esteemed Indigenous artists Kev Carmody and Warren H Williams.

The Top End continues to be such a wellspring of vibrant and unique Aboriginal music and artistry and we are absolutely thrilled to showcase some of that proud legacy and culture at the 2017 Yabun Festival, says Yabun Festival Producer, Miah Wright.

This will be one of the few times that a Top End band has performed at Yabun and is set to be one of the most special moments in the events 15 year history.

Yabun Festival takes places at Victoria Park in Camperdown on January 26, 2017 (10:00am 7:00pm).

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Sunday, 25 November



Our goldfish swimming happily in their big tank.

A flash of orange,
A splash of cooling water
A happy goldfish...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.


Australia and China keep chugging along "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The Economist has a very good essay on the Australia miracle.  Its not just that Australias avoided a recession since 1991, theyve also done better than other developed countries on a wide range of indicators, such as GDP growth, median wages and public finances (i.e. a small national debt.)  Italy would do well to study Australia.

When I started blogging, some claimed that Australias success was due to luck.  They had a mining boom when China began growing rapidly.  But mining has gone into a slump since 2013, with mining investment plunging from 9% of GDP to only 3%.  Thats much worse than the 2006-09 US housing slump:

Yet the collapse in commodity prices was not the end for Townsville or Australia. In fact, it was a fillip for other industries, whose growth helped to make up for minings troubles. The plunge in investment allowed the central bank to lower interest rates, lifting the housing business. The sinking currency, which lost 40% of its value against the greenback between 2011 and 2015, caused the number of foreign tourists and students to surge. It also encouraged foreigners to snap up flats in Sydney and Melbourne, giving construction even more impetus.

Building work had reached a nadir in the first quarter of 2012, when construction firms completed projects worth A$20bn. In the last quarter of 2017, that reached A$29bn.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 2.13.17 PMAnd yet Aussie RGDP keeps chugging along at a 3% growth rate.  How have they done it?  The RBA keeps NGDP increasing:

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 1.34.32 PMSo the secret of Australias success was not the mining boom, it was sound monetary policy.  BTW, Australia has a much higher rate of immigration than the US.  Keep that in mind when you consider the amazing rise in Australian median wages:


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Thursday, 13 October


Halloween Special Filmonik #34 Filmonik Melbourne

In October Filmonik #34 will be back in its original Monday night slot and it just so happens that the last Monday of October is Halloween day. Come costumed (trashy prizes for best costume) and try to come with a horror/suspense/weird/genre/thriller/mysterious film but, as always, any genre will be accepted.

Filmonik - Halloween

Filmonik Halloween

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Monday, 10 October


Perform at Yabun Festivals Corroboree Ground "IndyWatch Feed"

Held each year on January 26 at Victoria Park in inner Sydney, Yabun Festivals Corroboree Ground features traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance performances occurring throughout the day.

Corroboree Ground has become one of the most popular elements of the annual Yabun Festival, the largest annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in New South Wales that draws over 20 000 people each year. Corroboree Ground provides a unique space to celebrate the vitality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures on Survival Day.

Yabun Festival welcomes expressions of interest from traditional dance groups from across the country to perform at the 2017 Yabun Festival.

To register your interest and receive more information on performance rates, please complete the online form.

Expressions of interest will close on September 30.



Council Election Special: Q+A with Councillor Rohan Leppert The Red and Black Architect

In many ways it is the local council level of government which has the most profound impact on our built environment. In most cases they are the first line of decision making for buildings seeking planning approval and they also have a very significant role to play in the formation of local planning strategies and regulations. Right now the 79 local governments across Victoria are in election mode, with the postal ballots being accepted until Friday 21 October.

In this election special, The Red+Black Architect spoke exclusively with Councilor Rohan Leppert from the Melbourne City Council. Rohan is one of very few councilors across the state with any formal training in planning or architecture.

Red+Black Architect  Youre currently studying a masters of urban planning and environment. How has this influenced your decision making process when considering planning applications?

Cr Rohan Leppert Its a really good question. Im only half way through the degree which is quite theoretical and Ive not had to do too much technical work yet. To be perfectly honest, the work Ive been doing at council has been influencing my work in uni much more so than the other way round. Its good, I appreciate having a much more solid understanding of the history of planning in Victoria to when Im applying my role as a decision maker on planning applications and planning scheme amendments at the city of Melbourne. In many ways, I think it improves the quality of my work at the city of Melbourne. Im in a very fortunate position.

CR Rohan Leppert

CR Rohan Leppert

R+BA  From what youve seen of how the council operates and the various councillors, how they vote and questions they ask. Do you think that the other councillors have a genuine understanding of what theyre deciding upon or it is very much a case that theyre relying on their officers to sort of hold their hands through the process?

Cr RL  Well there are eleven councillors and I think its fair to say there are eleven different understandings of the role of a councillor. Thats natural and inevitable. Well before I went back to do more study in this area, Ive been on the public record being quite critical of the lack of training available to councillors at the beginni...

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Thursday, 06 October


Creating the Permaculture Designers Manual: Andrew Jeeves interview on life with Bill Mollison "IndyWatch Feed"

This is our first week without Bill Mollison.
Our rascal-genius, founder of Permaculture, has finally gone to that big haystack in the sky.

Bill, you are loved and missed, and always will be.

The Bill Stories are all coming out of the woodwork, being told around the campfires of the world, as we all get sad together. 

 Bill Mollison was known for the way he would enter intense creative relationships with others, sometimes lasting for days, sometimes years.  Here I interview artist, writer, systems-thinker and action-man, Andrew Jeeves.  Andrew and Reny Mia Slay were the crew behind the extraordinary Permaculture Designers' Manual. Here is Andrew's Story. 

Cecilia: What was it like creating the Permaculture Designers Manual, day to day?

Andrew Jeeves: Hard work. Bill used to read voraciously. In those day hard copy no internet. Anything that was interesting hed rip out of a magazine or write a note or photocopy and throw it in a old tea chest in the corner. After a few years, when the the chest was full, Bill said, Time to write a book. So we all got together and poured out the contents of the tea chest on the floor and grabbed a handful and started to organise things into categories. Until we had 40 piles on the floor and the everything was catego...

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Sunday, 02 October


Living in a parallel universe VICTORIA_STREET

As one of those that models a small scale tramway, one tends to heavily invoke the modellers licence; but what if your slightly obscure view of your small empire became reality?


X1 460 (an old Footscray Tram) leads SW6 964
across the crossover heading off to the football
Victoria Street is my little microcosm of the tramways that run in the western suburbs of Melbourne, while not true to any particular part that exists due to the ever dynamic streetscape that is an inner urban environment.

I have kitbashed various buildings with verandas together with rather local signage to offer an experience of familiarity.  A combination of local and nostalgia breathes life to Victoria Street. 

This weekend stuff did happen, my little empire may have cross pollinated life as we know it, because I for my own amusement had populated the local streetscape with small copies of the 1954 premiership banner poster from the long forgone Melbourne Herald newspaper celebrating the Footscray Bulldogs grand final victory. 

The Milk Bar


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Friday, 23 September


Kev Carmody headlines 2017 Yabun Festival "IndyWatch Feed"

Renowned Aboriginal troubadour, Kev Carmody, will headline the 15th annual Yabun Festival in Sydney on January 26, 2017. Other artists who will perform at Yabun Festival in 2017 include Red Ochre and Deadly Award winning country music artist Warren H Williams (joined by emerging artist Dani Young), Aboriginal rock n roll icon Vic Simms, Sydney based blues artist Marlene Cummins, soul music performer and former The X-Factor star Rochelle Pitt, National Indigenous Music Award winning hip hop artist Philly, and popular reggae/dub band Oka.

Kev Carmody grew up in the Western Darling Downs area of Southern Queensland, his initial inspirations coming from the rural and oral traditions of his Irish and Aboriginal grandparents. Kev released his first album Pillars of Society in 1988 and is among the most esteemed Australian singer songwriters and Aboriginal musicians. In 2009, Kev was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

The music of Kev Carmody has impacted countless people over the past four decades, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, he is one of our most treasured and significant Australian artists and we are absolutely thrilled to have Kev as our headliner for the 2017 Yabun Festival, said Yabun Festival Producer, Miah Wright.

Established in 2001, Yabun (meaning music to a beat in Gadigal language) is one of the nations largest annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural gatherings, and Sydneys biggest Aboriginal music event. Held each year on January 26 at Victoria Park in Camperdown, Yabun Festival is a free event that features live music, a bustling stalls market, panel discussions and community forums on Aboriginal issues, a wide range of childrens activities including art, sport and culture workshops, and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances staged at the Corroboree Ground. In 2016, over 20 000 people attended Yabun.

As well as featuring some real legends of Aboriginal music, Yabun will be showcasing plenty of emerging talent in 2017, and the Corroboree Ground will once again bring traditional Aboriginal culture to the heart of Sydney, Yabun welcomes all people to join us for this one of a kind celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, said Ms Wright.

Former Yabun Festival headline performers have included Bart Willoughby, Archie Roach, Dan Sultan and Jessica Mauboy. The 2017 Yabun Festival will take place at Victoria Park in Camperdown, Sydney, on January 26, beginning at 10:00am and finishing at 6:00pm. Yabun Festival is supported by Australia Council, City Of Sydney, Arts NSW, Destination NSW, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

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Wednesday, 21 September


There is always something on the go. VICTORIA_STREET

Since the exhibition, the layout sat fallow in the study for over a month, still as the three disjointed modules that were placed there on the Sunday evening after the exhibition.  This is mainly due to the bride entering the final furlong of her post graduate studies, which in turn places me in the chief role of kid wrangler (3), until Melbourne Cup week (early November). 

With the modules not connected, this allowed some housekeeping to be performed between organising food relief (dinner) and emergency sessions of the UN Security Council (peacekeeping).
- some street lights at the junction were finally connected. 
- an external socket and switch installed to the front end of railway station module.
- an introduction into the realm of Bluetooth technology. 

Lights are on.

The intersection of Victoria St and Albert Rd is now illuminated by street light which improves operational safety for tram services heading to and from the Ammo Factory of a night time.

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Sunday, 18 September


Filmonik #33 Filmonik Melbourne

The next Filmonik is in one week, prepare your edgiest, most twisted, sexy, musical, urban, underground short films because its on a Saturday on Saturdays we party. Screening will start earlier at 6:30pm sharp. Loop Lounge Saturdays with Tom Ambroz after the screening.



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Monday, 12 September


Filmonik #32 Filmonik Melbourne

Loop Bar, 7:00pm, Thursday, 25th August

On Thursday, 25th August around 6:30pm, shadowy figures gravitated from Bourke Street Tram Stop 9, Parliament Railway Station and the many dark adjoining lanes, towards Meyers Place and the subdued lighting of the Loop Bar Melbournes new home for amateur filmmakers.

The friendly Filmonik aficionados greeted old friends and regulars, and welcomed new visitors to a typically relaxed, fun filled night of free amateur films and leaning on the Loop Bar.

Filmonik #32 had ten new movies and a live music interval by Filmonik organizer Glyn Francis on acoustic guitar and singer Renee Bufton on guitar and violin.

After an intro by Iphigenie Frey the program was launched by a delightful film from Argentina.

Birds of Prey  by Leandro Olgiati (Argentina)

Director Leandro Olgiati based his beautiful coming of age film on an existing short story. It was shot on a Canon T3i, over four days outside San Juan, Argentina, with teenage actors, and the post production was completed in only seven days. The Filmonik audience was entranced by the relaxed, natural acting of the three boys (Bruno and brothers Marcos and Matias). All agreed that the cinematography was a standout with exceptional close ups of the actors expressive faces. It was a simple story of three friends who all come to notice the intrusion into their world of a girl from the city and are each affected in different ways. She comes and goes through their lives and at their age, she changes some forever. Leandros short film was perfectly realized and a great opening to the evening.

Pin 16 by B.J. Hill (Melbourne)

B.J. holds the record for presenting new videos at more Filmoniks than anyone and is the master of stop motion. We watched glasses fill and empty mysteriously, biscuits appear and disappear on rotating plates and the black hand of the director patiently animating everyday objects into a strange but ongoing narrative. We know B.J. will back next month with more dancing delicacies.


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Wednesday, 31 August


Look what arrived in the mail today... Finding the radio book


Finally, after three years from idea to completion - the world's first scholarly book on ghost signs is in my grubby little hands. Inside its pages are 22 chapters about ghost signs from Australia, the UK, US, Belgium, Peru and Vietnam, by a great group of academics, sign painters, historians, conservators, marketers and psychologists around the globe. It's been an enormous amount of work and to be honest I'm very glad it's all over - but also very glad it's here too.

It describes the book as "the first scholarly collection to examine the social and cultural aspects on the worldwide interest in the faded remains of advertising signage (popularly known as ghost signs). Contributors to this volume examine the complex relationships between the signs and those who commissioned them, painted them, viewed them and view them today. Topics covered include cultural memory, urban change, modernity and belonging, local history and place-making, the crowd-sourced use of online mobile and social media to document and share digital artefacts, retro design and the resurgence in interest in the handmade."

As a hardback academic book with a limited market it's also very expensive - but it will come out in paperback in 12 months or so. Also, Google Books has some snippets if you'd like to peek inside :)

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Thursday, 18 August

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Saturday, 24 November



We have been having unseasonably cool weather and quite a great deal of rain. This seems to have favoured the multiplication of some small critters in the gardens and parks. Here is a small sampling of them in the urban jungle of the Melbourne suburbs.
Harlequin bugs, caterpillars, flies, freshwater crabs, huntsman spiders, green bottle flies, and praying mantis.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.


Moreland Summer Show 2018 Black Mark

I feel obliged to take a look at Moreland Summer Show 2018 at the Counihan Gallery because I live in the area, to keep up with what the local artists are doing. However, instead of trying to write about the whole exhibition I will be looking at three of the exhibitors: Wendy Black, Benjamin Sheppard and Yoshi Machida.

Wendy Black Sea Eagle over Tamar

Wendy Black Sea Eagle over Tamar 2017-18

Wendy Blacks Sea Eagle over Tamar is painted with spray paint enamel on board, what would be called a stencil piece on the street. But it is not on the street and Black is not a street artist and it is worth point out the elements that would be unusual on the street to contrast the differing aesthetics. Firstly, it is a landscape a genre rarely used on the street, secondly there are many rough elements, blistered or bubbling paint, evidence of masking tape that would be avoided on the street but give Blacks painting warmth. For more on Wendy Black see my blog post about Courtroom Artists.




This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

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Wednesday, 17 August


The Sunshine Report. VICTORIA_STREET

Another exhibition done and dusted, the Sunshine Model Railway Club by their reports had a reasonably good turn out over the weekend of the 6th & 7th of August, to myself it felt busy at times but not too crowded, with the punters easing off during the last hour or so on both days.

Plenty of natural light at Sunshine.

There were two main points of interest with the layout, trams as opposed to trains, and the use of wifi control with smartphones/tablets with  JMRI and DCC. 

The tram angle with the JMRI works as it allows tight head ways and independent operation with the ability to wander from one terminus to the other whilst in some form of control. 

The other great feedback was how detailed the layout is and also how given its compact size offered plenty of operational scope. 

The exhibition was another chance to catch up with a few familiar faces and  put faces to names on people who follow this blog. There was plenty of variety of layouts on show, ranging from Z scale to G scale live steam covering Australian, British, European and U.S. prototypes, along with the usual traders.

On the Sunday, I was assisted by my oldest daughter which eased the load of having something on the move while chatting with the public. 

As per usual, there were a few dramas, such as stalling, derailments and the odd bit of bang roading together with a complete shutdown of the JMRI when the eldest turned off the laptop, but these add character as well as a few more grey hairs. 

The other thing that dragging out the layout does is it gives you a chance to view it from different angles and from a distance.  The pack up was pretty swift, the exhibition closed at 4pm and the car was packed and the key in the ignition by 4:27 and was home by 4:45 after swinging by the bottle shop(off licence/liquor store).


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Monday, 01 August


Toil: A Poem by Caitlin McGregor I'll Be Your First Mate

*trigger warning: sexual and physical abuse; violence against women, violence against children*




like stones being swallowed

into a little girls stomach,

a baby drops from its mothers birth canal

face first into a pit of barbed wire


I was raped on Nauru


through a tiny crack

leak trickles of blood

and dirt too hot to touch

the crack is quickly filled with putty


I have been very sick


sorry little girl

there is no room on the fridge

for such a sad drawing

but 8739, what an exotic name


I have never said that I did not want a termination


there are white mens hands

in a womans body

there is blood on their shirtsleeves

but they wont remove their hands


I never saw a doctor


skin and bones plead and burn

babies are lined up on the floor

guards spread the legs of women and children

maybe no one knows were here


I saw a nurse at a clinic but there was no counselling


you have been told a lie

they have taken advantage of you

you have been ripped apart

and I understand you will feel very angry about that


I saw a nurse at villawood but there was no interpreter


tell anyone who seeks to follow you

that they should not do it

or theyll end up in a similar circumstance

or much, much worse


I asked but was not allowed to talk to my lawyer


look tony, look scott

here come pete and poor old mal

here boys, take these before we run away

the keys to the gulag


Please help me


like to dislike

share to spread the word

hold your children a little tighter

before you tuck them in tonight


Maybe no one knows were here



*Some lines in this poem are paraphases of Scott Morrisons recorded speech to asylum seekers in 2014; some are adaptations of lyrics from Nick Caves O Children; and some are direct quotes from a letter written by an asylum seeker referred to as Abyan by the media when her case made news in late 2015*


This poem was originally published in Farrago, Issue 3, 2016.


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Sunday, 17 July


The Six O'Clock Swill Beside the Yarra

You knock off work at 5pm.

It's been a long day and you decide to go to a bar for a drink with some of your workmates.

It's a mixed group, men and women, and you split up at the entrance. The girls go into the ladies lounge, and the blokes go in via a separate door to the public bar.

Inside, the bar is hot, crowded and smokey. The main area is crammed, wall to wall, with the heaving bodies of the city's workers. Everyone is drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

You push your way to the bar and order a couple of beers. You and your mates take it in turns getting the rounds in.

People yell and argue, and a few scuffles break out. You can barely hear yourself talk. You are jostled constantly, and beer slops on your clothes. There is beer all over the floor, and your shoes are damp.

At ten to six, the barman rings a bell, and all hell breaks loose. The atmosphere, already boiling, erupts into a mad frenzy. 

As one, every punter in the place makes a lunge for the bar, everyone shouting for five beers each. They snatch the schooners up as they are poured, and start chugging them down as quickly as they can, gulping the beer in huge, breathless gasps. 

The Six O'Clock Swill has begun.

Melbourne beer ad, prior to WWI.

In 1910, Melbourne was a city with a powerful thirst.

With one bar for every 120 people (the current ratio is more than three times this), alcohol was one of the city's most popular, and lucrative, past times. Stopping at the pub on the way home from work was a daily ritual for a majority of the city's workers, and the industry had expanded to meet this enormous demand.

Alcohol was cheap, readily available, and heavy drinking an accepted part of everyday life.

Temperance movement, anti alcohol poster.

The downside to was as you would expect; high rates of alcoholism, and alcohol related health problems. Also claimed, although not universally accepted, was that the level of drinking had lead to increased property crime and domestic violence.

Campaigning for more moderate alcohol consumption and stricter government control, the local Temperance movement became prominent in Australia's major cities, Temperance Halls were established, where serving alcohol was prohibited, and regular anti-booze demonstrations organised.

During World War...

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Wednesday, 13 July


The wire is up! VICTORIA_STREET

Finally the trolley wire is up left of the railway bridge on Victoria Street. 

After about eighteen months since the beginning of construction of the new modules, (the depot, the junction and the Ammo factory), the trolley wire sits resplendent above the rails. 
Now to be quite honest, I thought I would not be able to get this up before the Sunshine model railway club exhibition, the first weekend of August; however the lucky combination of an early shift and and the bride heading off with the kids to her parents for a few days during the school holidays allowed myself to knock over this task. 

The method of hanging wire is a bit of a dark art that requires a little planning and a fair crack of patience. 

The materials that I use for this project are;
- coat hanger wire (span poles)
- multi strand copper earth cable
- craft beads (insulators)
- PVA and five minute epoxy glue
- a sharp felt tipped marker pen

A collection of hobby tools required are;
- a soldering iron and solder
- small side cutters
- a 300mm/12" steel rule
- a cutting mat
- a few spring loaded clothes pegs

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Tuesday, 12 July


A few Hurstbridge signs Finding the radio book

It's been a while since I've posted here - life's kinda got in the way of late :) So now I've got this ridiculous backlog of ghost sign pics...will try to clear it over the next little while. Stay tuned.

But first, some signs I snapped the other day in the main drag of Hurstbridge, including a fabbo Nestles sign uncovered by a billboard removal on an old grocery.

Oh, and PS: After over two years of work, WE'VE HANDED IN THE FINAL PROOFS FOR OUR GHOST SIGNS ACADEMIC BOOK!! It should be out soon...the blurb is here:

Note that it will be only available in ridiculously expensive hardback for the first 12 months, then out in more reasonable paperback after that.

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Sunday, 10 July


Melbourne in the 70's - Photo Gallery Beside the Yarra

Please note: The following photos have been sourced from public domain sites, or other blogs. Please contact me if any of the images I have used violate copyright, and I will remove. 


Bon Scott at North Altona Tech, 1975.

Melbourne Sharps.

Factory workers in South Melbourne

Lillian Frank attends the opening night of 'Hair', the musical. 1971.

Bjorn and Frida from ABBA, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, 1977.


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Sunday, 26 June


Evan Dando at The Hi Fi Beside the Yarra

The Lemonheads in 1987.

The Lemonheads were formed by a group of high school friends in Boston in 1986.

They came to prominence in the early 90s; their jangling guitars and bittersweet, melodic pop songs finding a place among the alt-rock music that dominated the era. Their 1992 album, It's a Shame About Ray, was a critical and commercial success, and one of the defining records of the era.

Evan Dando, 1992. Note the 'Smudge' tshirt.

Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando seemed like the quintessential 90s rockstar; sensitive, laconic, scruffy, and largely unchanged by success. Dando was the one constant in the band as it developed, with other musicians coming and going regularly. He also had a documented drug problem, and his behaviour was erratic at times.

But his sweet voice and facility with wistful lyrics always shone through, whatever turbulence had occurred in the background.

By the time the 90s became the 2000s, The Lemonheads were defunct (splitting in 1997)  and Dando was performing as a solo artist.

But his recorded output since the band had ended consisted of only one live album, 2001's Live at the Brattle Theatre, which served to showcase an artist resting on former glory; his set list made up of old Lemonheads songs and covers. In the intervening years, Dando's drug and alcohol problems had worsened and the artists behaviour had become increasingly eccentric and unpredictable. He sometimes appeared disorientated in interviews, and struggled to finish his sets when onstage.

Then, things seemed to take a turn for the better.

In 2003, Dando finally recorded his first solo album of new material, Baby I'm Bored. This was accompanied by a much publicised detox and a change to a healthier lifestyle. The new, improved Dando would support his album with a world tour, a showcase for his reinvigorated talent, body and mind.

Evan Dando and Nic Dalton

Evan Dando had...

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Saturday, 25 June


Before Melbourne Central Beside the Yarra

Situated on a busy Swanston Street corner, opposite the State library, there are few structures in our city as well known as Melbourne Central. With a distinctive glass cone on the roof, a train station underneath, a cinema, food court, and a full complement of retail, Melbourne Central is a busy, and heavily patronised, part of inner city life.

It's hard to imagine that corner without it.

But this is misleading.

For Melbourne Central was only opened in 1991, and so is a relative newcomer to our city. And, like many of the locations we examine on these pages, the area it was built on has already had a number of different incarnations.

Inner city Melbourne, 1860

The city blocks bordered by Swanston, Elizabeth, La Trobe and Lonsdale Streets were once the industrial heartland of the city.

This rectangular area was a rabbit warren of winding lanes, alleyways and cul-de-sacs, populated by small scale heavy industry; ironmongers, carpenters, metal workers, brick makers and coach builders, among many others. As the city boomed in the decades after the gold rush, the economic activity in this area skyrocketed.

Into this lively domain stepped James Coop.

Coop Shot Tower, 1891.

Born in England, from a hard scrabble family, James Coop arrived in Melbourne in 1855 looking to make his fortune. A plumber by trade, Coop found work in the thriving local construction industry, and was shortly after able to open his own business.  By 1868, he was based on Knox Place, in the midst of the bustling industrial neighbourhood described above.

By the 1880s, Coop's son Walter was running the business, and he decided to expand into shot making. Shot - effectively small balls of lead - was an important industry in the Victorian era; it was used not just as ammunition for firearms, but also as weight for scales, in pinball machines and mechanical games, and as ballast.

Over the years 1889-90, Walter Coop oversaw the construction of the 'Coop Shot Tower' above the family plumbing business. Made out of red brick, and standing 50 metres high, when cons...

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Wednesday, 22 June


Something's going on VICTORIA_STREET

The punters and traffic have been removed from the layout and are stored at the moment, rollingstock is in the process of getting a once over and a tidy up, track and infrastructure is being cleaned and tested, all of this can only lead to one thing, an upcoming exhibition. 

All is quiet on the western front.

 Playing the numbers game.
(Because you need to know what tram to call up)

Complete with pigeon holed up punters.....

 .....and take away traffic.

There is nothing that lifts ones enthusiasm than an impending exhibition date, as I have done some extensive work on Victoria Street since its last outing at the AMRA Caulfield exhibition during August 2014, I have accepted an invitation for the Sunshine MRC exhibition at Braybrook secondary college, the first weekend in August.

While I do get a few invitations to exhibit throughout the year, the combination of work/family commitments, exhibition dates and distance are the factors I consider, also I try not to over expose the layout on the exhibition circuit. The Sunshine exhibition works better for me for two reasons, one I have already been rostered three days off that weekend, and secondly, the venue is only a five minute drive from home. 

As I have exhibited at Sunshine before, it's will be nice to head back again, as it was here that Victoria Street made its debut as a small/micro layout in 2010.



Williamstown Racecourse Beside the Yarra

Williamstown is one of the oldest suburbs of Melbourne.

Situated at the Western mouth of the Yarra river, the town arose naturally after the founding of the city, as it proved a good location for a port. With the river impassable to large cargo ships (discussed further here), Point Gellibrand was quickly established as the disembarkation point for goods headed for Melbourne.

Founded in November 1835, a few months after the city itself, and named after King William IV, Williamstown thrived as Melbourne expanded. Like much of the city, this growth increased exponentially during the Gold Rush of the 1850s.

One tangible indicator of this expansion was the founding of  the Williamstown Racecourse.

Williamstown Racecourse, shortly after its founding.

In 1857, local enthusiasts formed the Williamstown Racing Association, and began looking for a place to build a track. The local council denied their initial request for lands close to the township, but they were able to secure an open clearing on the waterfront, adjacent to Koroit Creek (then in Wyndham Shire). Construction of the track began in 1858, and the first race meeting was held on Boxing Day in 1859.

Aerial view of the racetrack
Location of track on current map.

Reached by a small causeway crossing the creek, the track's location offered a sweeping view across the bay. The simple wooden grandstand was augmented by decorative Canary Date Palm trees, and Norfolk pines ringed the far side of the course. It was a simple, but handsome, layout, and the track grew quickly in popularity.

The Boxing Day races became an annual event, and the racing program would expand into the racing season proper. In 1885, the Williamson Racecourse Railway Station was opened, to allow punters easy access to the course. Originally the end of a small side spur from the Geelong line, this track would eventually be expanded thr...

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Saturday, 11 June


10 Classic Vintage Billboards Beside the Yarra


'Buy War Bonds'

In every sense, war is expensive. The financial costs alone are enormous, and the revenue raising required to conduct warfare is so large, and so controversial, that they stand behind many of the most famous social upheavals in history (English Civil War, French Revolution, among many others). 

In the 20th century, Western governments came up with a new idea; borrow the money to fight from the population, and pay it back with interest when the conflict was over. This was the 'War Bond' program, an ad for which is on the St Kilda bound tram above.

There were also 'Peace Bonds', which were issued by the Government after the end of the war... to help them pay back the money they had borrowed during the conflict. As we said, war is expensive.


'Minties - The Universal Sweet'

The hard, white, cubic lollies known as Minties were first concocted in 1922, by James Stedman in Sydney. Initially sold under the 'Sweet Acres' brand - also the original home of Fantales, Jaffas and Milkshakes - the lollies' manufacturer has changed hands several times over the years; to Hoadley's (1968), Rowntree's (1971), and Nestle (1981). They are now sold as 'Allen's Minties', Nestle having bought out the Allen's brand in 1985. About 500 000  Minties are still sold each year.


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Thursday, 22 November



Phlox drummondii in the Polemoniaceae family has been around in various cultivars for many decades. Native to Texas, it is also widely distributed in the southeastern United States, especially along public highways. P. drummondii is often used as an ornamental plant. The flowers have a wide range of colours from white and cream through pinks, lilacs, roses, purples and reds, to almost black.

Phlox drummondii is named after Scottish botanist Thomas Drummond, who sent it and a variety of other plant samples back to Britain following his 18331835 expedition to Texas. It is an annual, growing from seed each year. The branches have sharp, pointed, lengthy, ciliated leaves with rounded flowers. The flowers are single or double, with lightly scented, flat, star-shaped petals. The flowers mature to 2.5 cm in diameter. It tolerates cold weather well, but requires plentiful watering and dislikes drought, wind and heat.

A popular cultivar the last few years is the very attractive Phlox drummondii 'Twinkle Stars'. It flowers profusely, is available in a variety of colours and has a characteristic flower shape with deep indentations in the petals, reminiscent of a star. It brightens up the garden and also grows well in containers. It blooms starting early summer and continues all summer long. It likes full sun, but I have been successful with partial shade. It doesn't like being transplanted much so be careful with the root system.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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Sunday, 05 June


Television City Beside the Yarra

Bendigo Street, Richmond runs from behind the local Officeworks down to the busy hubbub of Swan Street.

The houses are mostly from the 60s and 70s, and look well kept. At the top of the street is a community garden, and about half way along, at number 22, a substantial red brick factory complex, which has been renovated and turned into apartments. There are a couple of upmarket cafes, and a swanky looking bar.

It's the very picture of successful, hip, inner city Melbourne.

It's hard to believe, visiting today, that this street has had other lives; that it was once part of the industrial heartland of the city, that pianos and baked beans were manufactured here. That, even more astoundingly, this street even has a glamorous past, and was a second home to many local celebrities. But some embossed lettering that remains on the re-modeled factory frontage confirms this unlikely history for us.  It reads: Television City.

But our story doesn't start in the age of television. Instead, it starts in  eastern Europe.

Hugo Wertheim
Hugo Wertheim was born in Lispenhausen, Germany, in 1854. The son of a successful businessman, who himself came from a merchant family, Wertheim came to Melbourne in 1875 to make his fortune. He took a junior position with his father's cousin, a wealthy manufacturer of sewing machines, and soon established himself as hard working and dedicated, with a flare for and promotion,

Saving money diligently, Wertheim was soon able to go into business for himself. He sold not only sewing machines, but other mechanical devices popular at the time; mangles, knitting machines, washing machines, bicycles, and even pianos.

Wertheim's business expanded rapidly, and by the 1880s he had established a presence in  Europe and America. He traveled extensively, and was well known for staging elaborate demonstrations at trade shows. He returned to Germany in 1885 to be married, and then settled with his wife in a magnificent 17 bedroom mansion - 'Gotha' - on the banks of the Yarra. 

Hugo Wertheim had become one of Melbourne's most successful, and well known, businessmen.

The Wertheim piano factory.

Pianos had, by this time, become one of Wertheim's most profitable products. Well before television, and before even radio had taken hold, the piano was a fixture in...

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Saturday, 14 May


Prince at Bennett's Lane Beside the Yarra

On April 21, 2016, the musician known as Prince passed away. The exact cause and circumstances of his death are unknown at time of writing, although it has been widely reported that he was addicted to prescription painkillers, and that these may have played a part.

Prince toured Australia five times, and had been as popular and successful here as everywhere else. The outpouring of grief at his passing was public, and prolonged.

But rather than focus on his sad, premature demise, today we will revisit Prince's role in a famous piece of local music folklore. The occasions (yes, more than one), when the multi-millionaire, multi-platinum selling, pop megastar played secret shows at humble Bennett's Lane nightclub.

Flyer from Prince's first Australian tour; Sydney, 1992.
Prince first toured Australia in 1992, as part of the 'Diamonds and Pearls' world tour, which kicked off in Japan, and then ventured to a handful of European cities. The clamour to see Prince live locally was enormous; he had been one of the worlds most popular musicians since his album '1999' had been released in 1982, and a visit to Australia seemed long overdue

Backed by his new band, The New Power Generation, the tour focused mainly on tracks from the 'Diamonds and Pearls' album, including the eponymous title track, and hit single 'Cream'. An extraordinary six shows were sold out quickly at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and five at Melbourne's Tennis Centre.

On stage in Australia, 1992.
The tour was a massive success, but it would be 11 years before Prince would return.


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Sunday, 08 May


Phaffing about VICTORIA_STREET

The last month after knocking over the depot shed, work and life has conspired against me. On the odd occasion  I tend to shuffle trams in and out the roads of the depot shed, along the stretch to the racecourse back to the ammo factory then back into the sheds.

Busy times at the depot.

The other thing I doodle with is time tabling, especially when I'm on dad duties, roughly drawing train graphs of arrival and departure times that allow for short shunting special services to and from the racecourse that also in turn need to avoid conflict with regular services. The backs of envelopes, pages from a scribble pad, scraps of paper all provide a medium for creativity while supposedly supervising small children.

I did manage to visit a hobby shop, I obtained some sanitation based objects, old school rubbish bins (none of those 'modern' wheelie bins), and a Victorian era public convenience for the Ammo factory terminus. As per usual the facilities were kitbashed to suit my requirements, as the original concept was again too large for the area provided.

I bet the ratepayers of Victoria Street are happy with the local council.

Loitering or stage fright?

The other purchase was a replacement motor for 812, as this tram had a history of coughing and farting after about fifteen minutes of continuous running, the current draw of the original motor was diagnosing an issue with one of the windings, the decoder after the stated period would kick in 'self preservation' mode so as not to allow the 'magic smoke' escape.

The replacement motor is one for the Auscision brand of Australian prototype locomotives, the centre height was spot on, however the diameter of the new motor is about .070" wider than the original, so some old tech school bench fitting was required to make it fit inside the split chassis of the Cooee Collectable mechanism.

I will make it fit...

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Tuesday, 03 May


The Chewton Town Hall "IndyWatch Feed"

A gorgeous intimate performance space, the Chewton Town Hall is a substantially intact and rare example of a small town hall from the Victorian gold rush period of the 1850s. Possibly the smallest intact Town Hall in Victoria?

It will be buzzing during the festival with a limited bar set-up and fabulous home-crafted artisan pies, cakes, and tea and coffee provided by Honky Tonks of Castlemaine.

The Town Hall was built in 1858 as a community hall in the centre of the rapidly developing Chewton township, and served as the meeting room of the Chewton Borough Council from 1861. In March 1997 the Town Hall building, the similarly historic Post Office next door and Ellery Park were handed over to the local Chewton community in recognition of the role this precinct plays in the life of the town.

The hall has undergone a major restoration by the Chewton Domain Society thanks to a state government grant for restoration works in 2013, and continues to be a central part of Chewton community life for the past 160 years.

Check out the relocated portable police lock up right next door.

Access: A few steps to enter the front door. Level access is available at the side of the building via the back door. Parking in Main Road and some parking (via Church Road) behind the Hall. (8 car capacity) Bands to enter via Back Door please.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 11.05.30 pm

chewton community hall

The post The Chewton Town Hall appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.

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Friday, 29 April


Toxic bodies and Muslim zombies: (Re)storying refugees in Australian-based comic art zines I'll Be Your First Mate

by Dr Daniella Trimboli, The University of Melbourne

This paper was presented as a short conference paper on the plenary panel Unsettled at the Locating Lives: International Auto/Biography Association of Australasia in Adelaide, 2-4 December 2015.

All images are used here with permission from The Refugee Art Project, Silent Army, Safdar Ahmed, and Michael Fikaris. Special thanks to Safdar, Michael, and all of the artists involved in their respective projects.


Sam Wallman illustration in "Where Do I Belong?" (2015)

Images 1&2 (from L-R)


Migration has long been the subject of suspicion. Nikos Papastergiadis (2009, p. 147) has traced the ways migrants have been seen to be a deviation from the norm of settled life since the nineteenth century, perceived at best to be victims of external forces or, at worst, as dubious characters seeking unfair advantage over residents and posing a threat to prevailing social orders. He notes that even with the arrival of modernisation, which places a positive spin on mobility, migration is still considered a temporary or transitional phaseit is cause for concern if you remain on the move. Or, if we think about this in Sara Ahmeds (2014) terms: you are in the way of what is on the way (where what is on the way, in this case, is the continuation of particular cultural structures and practices). This circumstance is troubling for a number of reasons, not least because forced displacement of people across the globe is at an all-time high. The United Nations Refugee Agency (2015) estimated more than thirteen million refugees were in need of help in 2014, and the global migration crisis of recent months has only exacerbated these figures.


Due to the liminal spaces that migrants are often forced to occupy, it is hardly surprising that there is also a long history of representing these people as ghosts in public commentary, but also in private testimonies of seeking asylum. We know that the power of discourse is its ability to create that which it names. When the discourse of migration accumulates with nationalist rhetoric, border security, the disciplining power of surveillance and detention, and the biopolitics of terroras it has in recent yearsmigrants are not only represented as monsters, animals, and zombies but come to embody this corporeal sense of displacementthe abject body, the body beyond the boundaries of humanness. It is therefore no coincidence that this type of discourse repeats itself in the autobiographical accounts of asylum seeking.


Image 3

Image 3


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Sunday, 24 April


Two Melbourne cafs with ghost signs attached Finding the radio book

Melbourne is well known for its coffee culture and its ghost signs, so it's not that much of a surprise that the two have met in recent years.

At least two cafs are operating in premises that have uncovered ghost signs on their walls - and have left the signs there to their advantage.

In fact, one, Mr Morse - just next to the railway bridge in Johnston Street, Abbotsford, has named itself after the large early 20th century Mr Morse's Indian Root Pills sign uncovered on a former external wall:

This sign is part of an intense marketing push by the Australian purveyors of a snake oil remedy originally from the US - as seen by many other large cobalt blue Indian Root Pills signs around the district, including the famous chicory kiln in Bacchus Marsh (below) and various other Root Pills sign uncoverings (see: And for more details on Dr Morse's elixir, see the great Melbourne Circle blog for a fascinating history of the Indian Root Pills brand:

The second caf is in Lower Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe. Signwriter Larry Stammers alerted me to this great place after we met at a State Library talk recently. Funnily enough, when I went to take these pics recently, Larry was there having lunch. Again, the sign was painted on a former external wall. We wondered what oat company it might have been - possibly Uncle Toby's - there's a large faded ghost sign in St Georges Road in North Fitzroy that though very different in other ways has a similar curved swirl (any suggestions?)

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Monday, 18 April


New article about a ghost sign project in Ballarat Finding the radio book

"COOPED up in her magnificent 19th century office, artist and researcher Amy Tsilemanis loves nothing more than researching Ballarats antique advertising signs and brochures.
Based in the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute library, Tsilemanis goal is to bring old things to life in creative ways. She is currently working on a project about the citys ghost advertising on the sides of buildings  faded ads from the past."

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Sunday, 10 April


Fire from the Sky Beside the Yarra

September 28, 1969: Two months after NASA landed a manned spaceship on the moon, an extraterrestrial visitor returned the favour; a chunk of ancient rock streaked high above Victoria. Coming to ground near Murchison, in the states north, the meteorite was to prove more than just an exciting light show.

Once parts of the meteorite were recovered, scientists were amazed to discover that the rock contained amino acids, organic molecules that are the building blocks of our DNA. Previously, amino acids had only ever been known on earth, and it had been thought that the conditions outside of our atmosphere would be too harsh for them to form, or survive.

The discovery raised a tantalising possibility: could life have actually evolved somewhere other than Earth, then hitched a ride here on a meteorite?

Headline in The Argus

On September 28, 1969, residents across Victoria were startled when their Sunday afternoon was rocked by a blazing fireball that erupted above them. Witnesses across the state reported loud explosions, crackling sounds, smoke and a strange smell, like methylated spirits, as a meteorite left a flaming trail across the sky:

Weighing approximately 100kg, the meteorite finally disintegrated above Murchison, a small town in the Goulburn Valley, about 160km north of Melbourne. Breaking up into about 2 000 chunks, some weighing as much as 5kg, the fiery debris rained down over the town and the surrounding farmland.
Curious locals immediately began recovering meteorite fragments, and either keeping them as souvenirs, or turning them in to the local authorities.

Samples were sent to Melbourne University for analysis, and for comparison to some samples of moon rock, which had also recently arrived:

The preliminary results showed that the rock was at least 4.5 billion years old, and so was likely older than the earth itself. Professor Lovering's guess that it was a carbonaceous chrondite was proved correct, and so made the find particularly rare.

And there the matter may have rested.


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Thursday, 07 April


Modest uncovering in a tradionally immodest St Kilda street Finding the radio book

This old real estate sign was recently uncovered in the heart of St Kilda's former centre of sin: Grey Street. Of course, it's rapidly gentrifying - as evidenced by the flash new apartments being built on this former down-at-heel site:

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Wednesday, 23 March


Online video of my recent talk on the Lewis & Skinner archive at the State Library of Victoria Finding the radio book

If you've ever craved information on ghost signs, elephants, tea, online archives and mouldy documents, come and take a look here.

The videos by SLV Fellows are on the right hand side of the page:

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Tuesday, 20 November


Carrot Man Black Mark

I saw Carrot Man! I had heard the legend of a man who walks inner city Melbourne holding a giant papier-mch carrot with green plastic leaves. I assumed that I would not see him for reasons of time and space; most report had him in Fitzroy. Then on Friday I was in Flinders Lane buying sushi when I saw him walking past the window. So I grabbed my sushi, the woman behind the counter ran after me with my change.

It has been years since the first reported sightings of Carrot Man but it was obviously the same man. I tried to catch up with him but he was walking quickly up Manchester Lane towards the tram stop on Collins Street.

For more about Carrot Man see a newspaper article on Reddit. I love Tuesdays has a blog post about him. There is The Carrot Man Hunt @carrotmanhunt on Twitter. And an interview with him on YouTube.

In all these reports and interviews he never once does he use the Art word; his stated intention is simply to make people smile. (I think that the stories about him carrying a squid are a red herring.)


How close was Salvador Dali to Sigmund Freud? ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

The main founder of the Surrealist movement and writer of the Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924 was Andr Breton (1896-1966). According to Breton in 1924, the Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) very rightly brought his critical faculties to bear upon the dream. It is, in fact, inadmissible that this considerable portion of psychic activity. Also Breton credited Freuds ideas with discovering a current of opinion that was finally forming and that the imagination is perhaps on the point of reasserting itself, of reclaiming its rights. So Andr Breton and Max Ernst were very knowledgeable about Freud's beliefs. They saw that Surrealism was the most popular modern art form because it was a special, dogmatic and theoretical art that revealed human emotional truths. The theory it illustrated, i.e Freud's, was true as well.

Freud's conception of the unconscious and the importance of dreams encouraged painters, sculptors and writers to pay attention to their personal world of dreams. The thoughts and images they previously would have dismissed as absurd or illogical would now have a meaning. His art explained that the sublimation of the artist's unsatisfied libido is responsible for producing all forms of art and literature whether it be painting, sculpting, or writing.

At that time, Breton and Freud were admired by the rest of the Surrealist circle. Familiar with Freuds theories of accessing the subconscious for surreal inspiration, Spanish artist Salvador Dal (190489) increasingly considered dreams central to human thought.

Dali (top) and Freud (bottom), mid 1930s

Dali was enthralled when he discovered psychoanalysis and dreams, reading Freuds Die Traumdeutung-The Interpretation of Dreams that was first published in 1899. "It was one of the greatest discoveries of my life. I was obsessed by the vice of self-interpretation, not just of my dreams but of everything that happened to me, however accidental it might at first seem". Since that moment Dal's masterpieces became interpretations of Freuds psychology as fixations, complexes and psychosexual development.

It was clear in Dalis paintings how Freuds psychoanalytic theories inspired the Spaniard and left their mark on his iconography. Dal explained his paintings in this way to express for the first time in images Freuds discovery of the typical dream and the consequence of a chance event which causes the sleeper to wake up. The only difference between immortal Greece and the present time, is Sigmund Freud, who discovered that the human body is full of secret drawers that only psychoanalysis is capable of opening.

In many of Dals artworks there was a surreal, unconscious, dream-like quality, for example in the painting Persistence of Memory 1931. The message in the artwork was that a persons subliminal unconscious mind was present in daily life and had more power than man-made objects of the conscious world.

Clearly influenced by Freuds ideas, Dali's goal in 1936 was to bring the world of dreams, visions and hypnagogic imagery to tangible, co...


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #621 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week: 20 - 26 November 2018Newsletter | #621 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 20th November 2018 to Monday 26th November 2018 Festival Weekend Wrap Night Noodle Markets Gatsby High Tea Party Rock Bang - Circus Oz X-GenZ | Friday Night Live Espana El Vito - Spirit of Spain & Lord of the Strings Black Friday Sales Weekend Wrap Fed Square Live School Of Rock | The Musical Salvo's Concert Spectacular: Our Christmas Gift BeerFest Bentleigh Festival Doggy Day Out | Pakenham Draught Horse & YesterYear Festival Eureka Stair Climb Frankston's Christmas Festival of Lights Geelong Revival Motoring Festival Gippsland Antiques & Collectables Fair ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf Latin American Film Festival Melbourne Music Week Melbourne Pen Show Moto Expo | Motorcycle Show Nike Battle Force One Electric Day Queenscliff Music Festival The Color Run | Hero Tour White Ribbon Day Enjoy #Melbourne Get [ This Week ] Free by email every Tuesday. Festivals This Week Another fabulous weekend of festivals... Click on the festival title to learn more. BeerFest 2018 Saturday 24th November 2018 | Moonee Valley Racecourse Draught Horse & YesterYear Festival 2018 Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th November 2018 | Mont De Lancey Bentleigh Festival 2018 Sunday 25th November, 2018 Frankston's Christmas Festival of Lights 2018 Saturday 24 November 2018 | Davey Street, Frankston Geelong Revival Motoring Festival 2018 Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November 2018 | Eastern Beach Waterfront Precinct Latin American Film Festival 2018 15 - 24 November 2018 Queenscliff Music Festival 2018 Friday 23rd November 2018 - Sunday 25th November 2018 Night Noodle Markets 8th - 25th November 2018 | Birrarung Marr Mon-Tues- 5-9pm Wed-Thurs- 5-10pm Fri- 5-11pm Sat- 4-10pm Sun- 4-9pm For 18 nights, Melbourne will sizzle with the flavour, smells and sounds of the Night Noodle Market under the twinkling lights at Birrarung Marr. Night Noodle Markets 2018 Gatsby High Tea Party Join us for a night worthy of Jay Gatsby himself and party the night away at Mary Eats Cake High Tea venues in Brunswick & Montrose. Mary's Gatsby Soiree (BRUNSWICK) Friday, November 30, 2018 Brunswick | Book Online Mary's Gatsby Soiree (MONTROSE) Saturday, December 1, 2018 Montrose | Book Online Rock Bang - Circus Oz 15-25 November 2018 | The Coopers Malthouse Circus Oz has co-created an original hilarious rock'n'roll extravaganza Rock Bang from the (self-proclaimed) best band in the world: Die Roten Punkte. Rock Bang - Circus Oz featuring Otto & Astrid | Get Tickets School Of Rock | The Musical Limited Season November & December 2018 | Her Majesty's Theatre ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER'S HIT MUSICAL School Of Rock | The Musical | Friday Night Live Music | November Licensed Bayswater venue featuring live music every Friday night. 23rd November - X-GenZ 30th November - Back To Scratch View Details: Live At London Eleven | Buy Tickets Here Espana El Vi...

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Wednesday, 16 March


Moomba BMX Jam at Riverslide Skate Park Deborah Jane Photography

Riverslide Skate Park & Moomba Festival Present Moomba BMX Jam

U14, U16, Pro and Best Tricks Comp.  Just some of the photos taken at the event on Monday 14th March






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Tuesday, 15 March


St Kilda Festival, 14th Feb 2016 Deborah Jane Photography

In summer, every year St Kilda puts on its famous music festival, it is a free celebration with over 400,000 people who descend to the famous beachside location. They come from all over and listen to and are entertained by a variety of Australian musicians.

_MG_3873_4_4Over 400,000 people attend the festival yearly.  The Esplanade, St Kilda _MG_3654_4_4 Band playing on St Kilda Beach ...


Daddy Cools Dali rocks off Flaming Hoop

Guitarist, singer and visual artist
1 December 1950 8 March 2016

To Daddy Cool bass player Wayne Duncan, Ross Hanna Hannaford was far more than just his eccentric DC band-mate since 1970. He was the Salvador Dali of Australian rock, said Duncan. Everything he did, he did his way. Every guitar he had, he would adapt and change hed paint over it and make it a Ross Hannaford, an art object.

For instance most guitarists have standardised sound effects pedal boards to stomp on. Hannas, however, another regular collaborator, Shane Howard, of Goanna, confirmed, were like fantastic landscape paintings with artificial turf. Howard recalled the lanky player rocking up for a session, his guitar painted in reggae rainbow outbursts. Hed be wearing his fluoro vest, Afghani hat and some Blundstone boots painted gold the full dude.

Ross was a contrarian, said Howard. But he was very generous to me. I learnt how to write, to tailor stuff that was in his frame of reference. The way he played was always surprisingly and moving and it came from a very deep place. Ross sense of tone it felt right. It was always right. There was a fearlessness to him.

But it wasnt always so.

Ross Andrew Hannaford was born at Mayfield Hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales. Although both his mother Winifred Win (ne Johnson) and father Alan Al Hannaford had grown up in Melbourne, Al had taken a three year posting with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in Newcastle as an engineer. Struggling with a difficult workplace, unable to see much of his family, Al suffered a nervous breakdown. The Hannafords returned to Melbourne and a better life when Ross was one and a half, managing a motel and a caravan park.

Ross only had one sibling, Ian, older by four years. Their parents lived into their 90s; both have died now. My brother was a very shy kid, said Ian. He used to love diving, but as a baby hed suffered perforated ear drums perhaps from ear infections so hed been ordered to stop.

Compromised hearing or not, from the age of four, Hannaford regularly asked his parents for a guitar. When I was eight, I could hold one, he explains, in the documentary Hanna in a Nutshell (Haydn Keenan, 2015) so I got one and some lessons. Then came musical theory. I can't teach him, his ABC Academy teacher announced finally. But he can play. For Hannaford, the education system was a nightmare. At Cheltenham Primary School, a teacher terrorised him. Then he went to Brighton High, Mentone Grammar, Prahran Tech and RMIT.

At 12 Ross Hannaford was playing banjo in a kid jazz band and also guitar in his R&B band The Fauves. He was short, fat and wore bottle-thick glasses. Three years above him at school was Keith Glass, a muso whod go on to form Missing Link Records and manage the Birthday Party. When The Fauves played we all went along to a local church hall and watched them, Glass recalled. I remember being astonished at the sound and natural technique Ross [Hannaford] had with a cheap Canora acoustic guitar with an equally cheap Ibenez pickup shoved in the sound hole.

Meanwhile Hanna saw Wilson playing blues harp with Glass's band (The Group/The Rising Sons) around the same time. I think it was 1963, said Wilson. He wasn't quite 13. His parents didn't know what to do with him. He used to...

Monday, 14 March


James Stephens and the 8 Hour Day Beside the Yarra

This weekend is the Labour Day long weekend in Melbourne (and in most of Australia), so I thought it would be a good time to have a look at the origins of this holiday. Like most of our long weekends, Labour Day is a commemoration but, unlike many of them, this links us globally to many other Western countries, most of whom mark a similar occasion somewhere in their calendars.

The origins of Labour Day are linked to the beginnings of the organised labour movement, and some courageous and principled folk who demanded fairer treatment for workers. And in Melbourne, the first of these working groups to demand better conditions were the local stonemasons, lead by a tough and determine Welshman.

Trade Association banner, Melbourne, 19th century.
Melbourne started as an agricultural outpost in 1835, with a small city centre and limited industry. But, as the city expanded rapidly, especially during the gold rush of the 1850s, the city also began to modernise. This brought new industries, and new jobs, in manufacturing, mining, and public works.

But working conditions in these new industries were tough:

One of gold rush Melbourne's biggest growth industries was construction. Awash with cash, and the newly wealthy purveyors of it, the city effectively set about rebuilding itself. The low, often wooden, and very basic buildings that had been constructed during the city's foundation years were largely removed, and replaced by grand edifices, many stories high and largely built of stone.

It was a boom time for Melbourne's stonemasons but, despite high demand for their services, they suffered the same treatment as the city's factory workers; low pay, dangerous conditions and very long hours.

Enter James Stephens.

James Stephens: Stonemason and labour activist.
Born in Wales in 1821, Stephens followed in his father's footsteps and became a stonemason as a teenager. In 1839 he was seriously injured when he fell from a construction site scaffold, and the lack of assistance available to him while he recovered helped steer him towards the organised labour movement.

Sunday, 13 March


The Heavenly Queen of the Maribyrnong Beside the Yarra

Standing on a nondescript bend in the Maribyrnong River, between Footscray and Flemington Racecourse, is a most unexpected sight. Rising above a former industrial block, towers the Heavenly Queen of the Maribyrnong.

The Heavenly Queen of the Yarra, Footscray.

Under construction for more than a decade, her arrival at this location is a tale that actually stretches back several thousand years.

Lin Niang; traditional representation.

Born in 960, on the island of Meizhou off the south eastern coast of China, Lin Niang was marked as a remarkable child from an early age. Visiting a Buddhist temple with her family when she was 4, Niang experienced a vision of the Goddess Kuan Yin, which left her with the power of second sight.

Pious, and highly intelligent, Niang began to study Buddhist teachings when she was 10, and was accepted as an apprentice to the village priest shortly afterwards. From her early teens, people from the surrounding area would come to pray with Niang and she developed a reputation as a healer.

Niang seen by sailors, travelling atop a cloud.

She also had a profound connection with the sea; Niang's father and brothers were fisherman, and village life revolved around the ocean.

When Niang was 15, her father and eldest brother were out at sea when a fierce storm blew up and overturned their boat. Working on a tapestry at home, Niang was overcome by a powerful vision and fell into a trance. She was able to project her consciousness out to sea (some versions say she was actually transported, via cloud, as depicted a...

Sunday, 21 February


White Night Federation Square Deborah Jane Photography

Beautiful artwork by Reko Rennie projected onto the many different surfaces at Federation Square #Melbourne for White Night Melbourne.
About Reko Rennie
Reko Rennie is an interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary mediums. Rekos art incorporates his association to the Kamilaroi people, using traditional geometric patterning that represents his community. Reko has shown internationally including Venice, Paris, Berlin, Jakarta, Shanghai and USA. Recent highlights include: 2015 Venice Biennale, 2014 Art Gallery of NSW, 2013 GOMA commission, 2012-13 La Trobe University public art commission, 2012 Archibald Prize Finalist, a solo exhibition at SCOPE Art Fair, New York 2012, a 35-metre commissioned work by the Washington DC Arts and Humanities and a two-year public artwork, Neon Natives as part of the 2011 Melbourne Laneway Commission.,. Whats On Federation Square. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

Friday, 19 February


Brilliant Nugget shoe polish sign on an old shop window in Middle Park Finding the radio book

Drove by this on Canterbury Road the other day. What a beauty - and great that it's been kept:

This find reminded me of my earlier encounter with the remnants of a Nugget sign in Carlton that had been photographed years before by ghost sign aficionado John Hunter:


Highett staples: Velvet Soap, Robur Tea and house paint Finding the radio book

Today I was driving on Highett Road near the Highett Railway Station. I saw a glimpse of a painted paintbrush on a fascia, decided to give it a miss, then saw a European cake shop. Hmmm. Lunchtime. Worth a look then.

So I parked, got some food and walked down the street. Lucky I did - walking back the other way I stumbled on a palimpsest of signs that includes a Velvet Soap sign with a cartoon figure painted over the top:

I saw the sign from a small square across the road. There was something on the wall there too. I took a closer look - and realised it was the R and O from a large Robur Tea sign:


The paint shop fascia was there too, but hard to photograph from the other side of the busy road:

Wednesday, 17 February


Sunday Sessions at Station 59 "IndyWatch Feed"

With sunny weather on the way this weekend, where better to be thanStation 59 listening to some live music from local bands?

Hang out in the beer garden, grab a feed and have a few drinks whilst listening to the likes of...

Beastly Bird
"Beastly Bird was formed with the aim of creating a fresh, new sound, and with their unique blend of alternative rock they just might have done it"

Peter Dickybird
"Indie pop so unique it is like sighting a rare Red Goshawk through a set of binoculars"

Agamous Betty
"Lo-fi/avant garde performance artist"

"Doggerel play blues and unrelated genres powerfully, aggressively, and even crassly - all with the hope of making purists weep"

Jaded Souls
"A uniquely talented duo expressing themselves whole heartedly, honestly, and with musical flair"

Saturday, 06 February


Gatwick Private Hotel, St Kilda, Melbourne. Deborah Jane Photography

The Gatwick stands at 34 Fitzroy Street, a building that was established by Vittoria Carbone known as the Queen of St Kilda (Queen Vicky) in the 1960s. After her death in 1998, the hotel was taken over by her daughters Rose and Yvette who have run the place since then.

During the War, the hotel functioned as a billet for allied troops; specifically US officers. The Prince of Wales, across the street was used likewise. The Banff building further along operated in the same fashion during the war as General MacArthurs HQ for the Pacific campaign.,. Inside The Gatwick St Kilda News. N.p., 2015. Web. 6 Feb. 2016.

#Gatwick #Private #Hotel #StKilda #Melbourne #Australia_MG_2028...

Friday, 05 February


My speech from the launch of Iris and the Tiger Andrew McDonald

Last night I had honour of launching my good friend Leanne Halls new book Iris and the Tiger at Readings in Carlton.

Leanne has already published a couple of YA novels, but this is her first novel for younger readers and its an absolute winner. So much so that I dressed up as my favourite scene from the book for the launch.

Leanne and I

Here we are enjoying a moment at the book signing afterwards. Thanks to Steph at Text Publishing for taking the pic.


It is my great honour (and stiff-necked misfortune) to be launching Leanne Halls splendid childrens novel Iris and the Tiger tonight.

I want to talk about the brilliance of this book and I will but first allow me to explain why I look the way I look.

I am a sunflower.

An athletic sunflower.

And I come to you in fancy dress tonight for two reasons:

The first is that this is a Leanne Hall event. So were doing things the Leanne Hall way. And when Leanne Hall invites you to launch her amazing new book and suggests on social media that its going to be a dressing-up kind of occasion you do not disappoint by showing up in jeans and a shirt.

So Ive taken it upon myself to come dressed as my favourite scene from Iris and the Tiger.


Iris, of course, is the hero of the story and were with her from page one as she flies from Australia to Spain to spend ten days with her Great Aunt Ursula. Aunt Ursula is vague and mysterious, and the big house on her estate, which is known locally as Bosque de Nubes, Spanish for forest of clouds is even stranger. The banister of carved vines seems momentarily to whip around Iriss wrist. Notes on a sheet of music seem to have a life of their own. And a couple of overgrown sunflowers use their leaves to hit a tennis ball back and forth on an old court in the garden.

Ever since I first read Iris and the Tiger, this scene with the sunflowers has stayed with me. Leanne has a special talent for writing scenes that, once read, do not go unremembered. They bobble around in the brain. For me, theres just something completely inscrutable yet comforting and familiar about big sunflowers playing tennis.

And thats the second reason Im dressed like this tonight. Its all about the aesthetics. The tennis court tableau is, I think, representative of the kind of fantastical imagery that Leanne has a knack for conjuring be it the tennis-playing sunflowers or the Kidds (capital K) who ride their bikes around town and terrorise people in Leannes debut book This Is Shyness). And while evoking such strong visuals, the beauty of Leannes prose doesnt suffer at all. Technically speaking, its quite a thing to behold.

The imagery in Iris and the Tiger is so strong that Aunt Ursulas mansion feels like a real location to me. So real we probably could have had this book launch in Aunt Ursulas lounge room.

I can just imagine it:

All of us, boarding a plane to Barcelona and driving three hours to Aunt Ursulas estate.

Then moving through the white mansion, across the coloured tiles on the lobby floor and into the lounge room for the book launch.

A great chandelier would be hanging above our heads. Armchairs and tables and statues would be scattered all along one wall. While another wall would be covered in many different paintings, including a large painting above a fireplace of a woman and her greyhound, which appears to have five legs.

Up the front of the shop where the Readings counter sits is where the grand piano would be, with it...

Monday, 19 November


Inspecting a hollow The Gap Year and Beyond

I am still finding birds at Greens Bush nesting, looking for suitable nest sites and feeding juveniles that have fledged and left the nest. I found this pair of Crimson Rosellas (below) inspecting a Eucalyptus hollow. One was hopping in and out of the small hollow while its mate stood watch nearby.

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic








Wednesday, 03 February


Elephant found in deliberate Collingwood uncovering Finding the radio book

The other day I was on Smith Street Collingwood. On a corner is a motor garage that's been there forever - these days it looks like it's run by people who are also motoring history enthusiasts. The place was open and the walls were covered in old enamel signs for petrol and oil. People were sitting around the workshop, so I felt odd about taking photos.

A few days earlier, though, I'd been there when the place was closed. The whitewashed walls have been partly stripped back, presumably by the enthusiast owners, to reveal a bunch of old painted signs, including a big one for Elephant Kerosene, a former brand of both the Esso and Standard-Vacuum oil companies:

Elephant brand kerosene used to be a popular one in the early to mid 20th century:

Looking up close, and lots of other details revealed themselves, including the old phone number dating from the 1950s:

Friday, 29 January


St Kilda Pier, Melbourne Deborah Jane Photography

St Kilda Pier


The most famous attraction on St Kildas beach is the St Kilda Pier. This landmark was originally constructed in 1853 and the iconic kiosk on the pier built in 1904. The kiosk was destroyed by fire in 2003 but was rebuilt soon after and features a viewing deck which offers panoramic views over the bay. At the end of the pier is a breakwater which was constructed for the 1956 Olympic Games to provide a safe harbour for yachts. Visitors can walk part of the way on top of the breakwater or descend to a boardwalk at sea level. Around 100 penguins have made this rocky breakwater their home.  St Kilda Information Travel Victoria: Accommodation & Visitor Guide. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.




Hello 2016: ghost sign book in production, upcoming talk at State Library of Victoria, 40,000 page views and lots of ghost sign pics to follow soon Finding the radio book

Happy new year! It's been nearly two months since I posted on this blog - there's been lots on.

Firstly, our forthcoming edited academic book on ghost signs has consumed much of my time of late. It's finally about to go into production - will let you know when it's out. It will have 22 chapters about ghost signs from around the world, by a range of academics and practitioners. I'm very proud of it. Some initial details are here:

Secondly, I'll soon be doing a talk at the State Library of Victoria on the Lewis and Skinner archive. Details are here: Unfortunately it's now booked out - but drop me a line if you'd like to go and I'll see if I can get you in.

Thirdly, this blog has now generated 40,000 unique page views, which is very nice. Thanks for reading!

And lastly - I've accumulated a large backlog of ghost sign pics over the last months and will start posting these shortly. Stay tuned...

Monday, 25 January


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